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Club News


16 December 2016

Boss frustrated by home form and praises supporters for their patience and backing.

  • Wigan Athletic manager Warren Joyce previews Saturday’s visit of Ipswich Town to the DW Stadium.
  • Boss praises “fantastic” Latics support in tricky run.
  • Joyce: “Mick McCarthy a good friend, but I’m after the points on Saturday”.
Wigan Athletic manager Warren Joyce previewed Saturday’s visit of Ipswich Town with Latics PlayerHD on Friday afternoon.

Joyce praised Latics’ supporters for their continued patience and backing of his side in an ultimately tricky run of three consecutive defeats to promotion-chasing Derby County, Aston Villa and Newcastle United.

“The fans have been fantastic since I have been here, in spite of not seeing home victories,” Joyce said. “The away games have been great too, they’ve really helped the players

“We are desperate to give them something to shout about because they’ve been very supportive and we need that to continue.

“It lifts the players at a time when the confidence isn’t at an all-time high, even though I don’t think we are massively suffering from that.

“It would certainly help the players if we can get a goal up rather than chasing the game from a goal down.”

Assessing Wednesday night’s defeat to Rafa Benitez’s side, Joyce said his side will have to judge the fitness of the three players who went off – Luke Garbutt, Craig Morgan and Shaun MacDonald – ahead of the visit of the Tractor Boys.

“There are a lot of positives we can take from the Newcastle game,” Joyce said. “We went head-to-head with the biggest side in the division with an enormous budget, wage bill and some top-quality players.

“I thought we gave as good as we got really, ran the match in the second-half and deserved something out of the game.”

“[The short recovery period between games] puts stresses and strains on the squad with the back-to-back games against Villa and Newcastle, because it takes a lot out of the players.

“I thought they put a tremendous amount of effort in during those games and so we dust ourselves down and get ready today for Ipswich tomorrow.

“It’s a quick turnaround and we will wait and see on both Craig Morgan and Luke Garbutt who came off with injuries on Wednesday night.

“Reece Burke is back down at West Ham; they’re looking at him and assessing where he is at with him being their young player.”

Looking at opponents Ipswich on Saturday, Joyce knows Mick McCarthy’s side will pose a tough test, with his good friend establishing the Tractor Boys as a solid Championship outfit.

However, he expects the Suffolk club to pose a different challenge to the three sides his team have faced already in December.

“Ipswich are closer to us in the table, yes, but I still regard them as an established Championship club,” Joyce explained. “They have a proven manager with an international record that has kept a settled side for a number of years now, so you know how they’ll play, they’re strong in the division and we certainly can’t look at this as an easy game because they have got a certain way of playing and they do it really well.

“They present different problems tactically than our recent games but we have to set out as we have in our recent games to try and solve the problems they present and try and score some goals too.

“Mick is a good friend of mine, as are many of the managers that I have come up against in the last few weeks, but I’ll be looking to stop his side and beat them on Saturday.”

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