Latics PlayerHD spoke to Warren Joyce ahead of Newcastle United's visit to the DW Stadium on Wednesday 14th December
Aston Villa was bitterly disappointing but there must be some positives you can draw…
A lot of positives, the way the lads applied themselves , the way we competed, the way we showed resilience and a good shape to close down but also we had some slick interchange, some slick passing, they didn’t end with really clear chances where you say they should have scored goals.
But I thought really there were good opportunities where the last pass or the last effort at goal could have been better but overall, a tremendous amount of effort, I thought we gave as good as we got, and over the course of the game, Jussi didn’t have to make a save, which was the same as the Derby game.
It shows you that the margins between success and failure are so minuscule...
Very fine lines and we talked about that after the game, but we cannot stop doing the things that we do, even if you look at whatever philosophy I’ve had over the past 10 to 15 years at the different clubs I’ve been at, you’ve got to look at the strengths and the weaknesses of the players we’ve got here, that’s the reality.
We’re setting up to the players’ strengths and by doing that it’s enabled us to be in a position where we’ve had a chance of winning all the four games in spite of not scoring many goals, we’ve not conceded many and looking at the league, you have to be competitive in every game.
It’s no good being flamboyant if we’re just going to get cut open or we’re out of it like the first game I took charge of when we’re out of it after three minutes. We have to be competitive, we’ve got to stay in games and be in a position to challenge in every game between now and the end of the season.
We’re in a very challenging period at the moment, three of the biggest teams in the division followed by another big game on Saturday, is it possible to focus on just one game?
You obviously have to recover and prepare properly, the lads who didn’t play at Villa had a really tough day on Sunday so that it keeps everyone similar in the week and means everyone can be the same going in the week going into this match. Then it’s a case of keeping the others topped up so that if they get an opportunity on Wednesday or Saturday they can be the best they can physically.
Apart from the obvious of having great quality, what challenge does the Newcastle game bring?
Obviously they are all big teams but we set out like any other game to look at the strengths and weaknesses of the opposition and look at the things they do well to hurt us. Then we look at the things we want to try and do to score goals.
When you have a player in such form as Dwight Gayle do you have to take special measures?
Dwight Gayle: we know all about the threat he poses - Warren Joyce
Yes you do of course, you know all about his pace and the way he wants to get behind you, you know all about him, but really it’s no different from the problems that Aston Villa posed or Derby County did, Huddersfield the same, they’ve all got artillery that they can come and hurt you with, we’ve dealt with it well so far.
But obviously being at home we need to win as we look to win every game but you’ve got to be careful against theses sides if you open yourself up too much because they’ve shown time and time again what they’re capable of doing.
What team news can you tell us?
Reece (Burke) will definitely be out, Nathan (Byrne) has been training so is a bit further to recovering, it’s kind of one in, one out. With Reece it’s a problem in that we’ve not got a recognised right back fit, so Garbs (Luke Garbutt) will probably fill in there again and to be fair to him he’s not really played there before and he’s had to step in and although he’d not been playing that much this season, he’s done well in there.
It’s going to be a big occasion, under lights, a big crowd, the fans have got a role to play, haven’t they?
I think the fans have been great, they were magnificent on Saturday in not great conditions, they certainly must have been wet driving home. They played their part in a great atmosphere and I know the lads really appreciate their support , it’s important we give them something to shout about goals-wise but it’s also important we stay in games, there’s no point seeing us being beaten easily and then come away from the game frustrated that we’ve not even competed and not shown that we’ve got a way, or showed the fighting spirit that we need in the situation that we’re in.