Manager looks ahead to the Boxing Day cracker at the AESSEAL New York Satdium
- Latics travel to Rotherham United on Monday 26 December.
- Joyce on Rotherham: “We aim to go and get the three points.”
- Joyce on injuries: “We have to adapt, it gives others chances.”
Wigan Athletic manager Warren Joyce says Christmas week is just like any other when you work in football, and he wouldn't have it any other way, as he told Latics PlayerHD before the Boxing Day trip to the AESSEAL New York Stadium to face Rotherham United.
CHRISTMAS IS A WEEK LIKE ANY OTHER – THAT’S FOOTBALL!
It’s normal if you’re in the football industry, I found it very odd when I had a couple of years abroad not to have any games over Christmas. It’s something I’ve grown up with since I was 17, you’ve always had a game on Boxing Day, trained on Christmas Day, it’s the norm, and I’ve not really ever known any different.
AS GAMES COME, THIS IS A BIG ONE THOUGH?
I don’t see it that way really, we approach every game to win the three points, the approach can’t be any different from any game we’ve played or will play for the rest of the year.
We know that Rotherham are quite a direct team, they’ve got some threats, people who’ve scored goals this year and we know that they’re capable of scoring. Similarly to Ipswich and Barnsley, they work hard to pick up knock-downs and we’ve got to be on our toes to deal with that, we got caught short from a knock down at Villa, and from second balls and stopping crosses in the Ipswich game which led to goals, we have to make sure we do that better.
WHAT LESSONS HAVE WE LEARNED FROM IPSWICH?
The fine margins, we have to score when we are that much on top. If we had got a third goal, we could have got four or five, we certainly had good opportunities to score more. When you enjoy that good a spell, whatever level of football you are, you have to take advantage because you know you’ll get a bit of pressure yourself at some point.
Over the past few games, we’ve had a lot of situations where we’ve had to contain the opposition but basic things like stopping a cross, picking up a second ball or not blocking shots have led to goals against Villa and Ipswich and that’s disappointing. It’s an easier thing to get those things right than solving tactical problems, you need to be willing to put yourself in a fight zone - it’s disappointing that we concede goals like that.
ANY INJURY UPDATES?
Nothing’s really changed from the Ipswich game, if anything it’s got a bit worse with David Perkins having to come off at the end against Ipswich so we’ll have to assess where we are going into the game. You have to adapt to that, players get their chance to come in and they need to show what they can do. We are stretched, and we also have got some long term injuries in the squad who haven’t been involved since I came to the club and I know they are very capable players.
WE GO TO ROTHERHAM IN A POSITIVE FRAME OF MIND
The atmosphere in the squad and the way they train every day, the effort they put in, has been positive. There have been massive disappointments obviously for us and the fans because we’ve not got the points haul we wanted from the recent games, but we have to get on with it, keep working hard and stay positive, starting with Rotherham where we aim to go and get the three points.