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REECE JAMES HAILS “OUTSTANDING” PEARCE AND BARNETT AFTER DRAW AT SOUTHEND.

30 November 2015

Defender feels Latics were unfortunate not to win at Roots Hall but praises defensive display as Gary Caldwell’s side recorded another away clean sheet.

  • James: "We had chances to win the game despite the difficult conditions."
  • Defender now the only ever-present in the league for Latics this season.
  • 22-year-old believes build-up to Christmas and January are big periods for Latics as they look to move into the top two.
Latics defender Reece James was full of praise for Saturday’s central defensive duo of Jason Pearce and Leon Barnett as the pair helped Gary Caldwell’s side record consecutive away clean sheets for the first time in two years.

Reflecting after the 0-0 draw at Roots Hall, James said Latics had a good argument to suggest they could have had all three points, after they battered through difficult conditions in Essex.

“It was a difficult game,” James said. “Conditions weren’t great and the pitch was a bit difficult to play on but I thought we battled through it well and, with the chances we had, could have gone on and won the game. 

“I thought we looked very solid; I don’t think they caused us too many problems, especially in comparison to what we caused them and I think that was due to the platform we built in our solid defence.

“The two centre-halves, Pearcey [Jason Pearce] and Barney [Leon Barnett] were outstanding and they contributed massively to what was a good defensive performance as a team.”

After Michael Jacobs and David Perkins started from the bench on Saturday, James became the only starting ever-present for Latics in League One this season, a feat he is proud of.

“It is good to have played every game so far in the league,” he explained. “I’ve got to keep going, though, and I feel there is more to come from me.

“I want to keep improving; keep working hard every game and then hopefully the manager picks me because there are a lot of good players in our squad.”

Despite his 22 appearances in all competitions predominantly being played in a left wing back role, James is yet to get off the mark for Latics.

The past week saw James go as close as ever to his first goal for the club, a feat he hopes is not too far away.

“I came close on Tuesday night against Burton when I hit the post and probably should have scored,” James said. “On Saturday I nearly got a nice one with my right foot – hopefully it is not too long before I get my first goal.”

James says Latics are relatively happy with their start to the season as the halfway point in League One approaches, especially given the number of summer arrivals.

However, he says Gary Cadlwell’s side must stay focused with a big period of fixtures approaching over Christmas and New Year.

“I think considering how many new players we have had arrive over the summer, we would have to say it is going pretty well,” James added. “We are in the top six but we are still gelling and have still, I believe, only shown glimpses of what we can do and I feel we can be better still.

“The Christmas period and January will gives us a good reflection of where we are at by the end of it and it is the period where teams start to peel away a little so hopefully we can be one of those teams.”

Reece James is sponsored by:



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