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Club News


15 March 2015

Former Liverpool and Arsenal winger delighted to be off the mark for Latics in 2-1 win over Rotherham United.

  • Goals mean more due to the importance of them – Pennant.
  • Winger feels lack of fear contributing to superb away form.
  • Watford will find it tough at the DW.

Latics winger Jermaine Pennant says he was ecstatic to get off the mark for his new club with two crucial goals in Saturday’s 2-1 win over Rotherham United.

The 32-year-old, who signed for the club as a free agent in February, added the importance of the goals was as pleasing for him as the strikes themselves.

“I’m pleased with any goal or any assist but more so today because of the importance of the game; the game was literally a must win, a six-pointer because we gain three points on Rotherham in the process,” he explained.

“Full credit to the boys for digging deep all the way through to the 90th minute and putting in everything they’ve got.

“They only really had two chances on goal – the one they scored and the one that Ali has saved.

“We’ve got a great bit of momentum now and if we can continue that then things will look good again.”

Talking through his goals, Pennant also explained his celebration with teammate Don Cowie, who was on the bench prior to replacing him after 70 minutes.

“The first free-kick, I was always going to go to the keeper’s right and it was close so I just had to get it over the wall,” Pennant added. “I’ve done it before and people know about my set-pieces and that’s probably one of the strongest parts about my game.

“The second one, before I even took it I knew I the keeper would think that I was going to put it in the same place so I was always going to go the other way.

“Me and Don have been playing some friendly cards and I’ve had a bad week so before the game I said to him it could only get better. He said as soon as I got the free-kick he knew I was going to score and he just put his hand out as I come over to celebrate.”

The success in South Yorkshire made it four wins on the bounce on the road with successes at Reading, Blackpool and Norwich City prior to Saturday.

And Pennant has urged both players and fans to come together to improve our fortunes at the DW Stadium.

“There’s been no fear from the lads when we play away from home; it’s less pressure, we’ve found the pitches to be a little bit better as well and that does play a part,” he said.

“We can get a bit nervous in front of the home fans, if the fans at home were like they were when we go away to places like Rotherham and Blackpool, at home, then it would help more to give us that 12th man.

“We need to take this result into the home games, have no fear, attack teams but make sure we don’t lose the games at home, so we’re still registering points, and then away we can go to win the way we have been.”

Watford visit the DW on Tuesday, a club Pennant knows well after spending just under a year with the Hornets between 2002 and 2003 on loan from Arsenal.

And he feels home advantage could actually be beneficial against Slavisa Jokanovic’s high-flying Hornets.

“I enjoyed it when I was at Watford; I was really young and obviously loving playing football so it was good,” Pennant explained.

“They’re doing great now, in really good form and it’s going to be really tough.

“They’re a passing team, though, and they’ll find that hard at the DW so it’s not going to suit them and if we find our away performances at home, everyone will be smiling again.”

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