Defender Reece James discusses his first Latics goal on Saturday, his left wing back role and an expected support of over 2,000 at Crewe Alexandra this weekend.
- James proud of commitment of supporters ahead of trip to South Cheshire on Saturday.
- 22-year-old pleased to be off the mark with fine strike in win over Chesterfield.
- Former Manchester United man now looking to add more positivity to his game from left wing back role.
James has been a virtual ever-present in Sky Bet League One since his arrival at the DW Stadium from Manchester United in the summer and he says it is up to the players to continue their fine run of form on the road which has seen Latics remain unbeaten on their league travels since September’s defeat to Port Vale.
“The fans have backed us everywhere we have been,” James said. “It just shows the commitment they have to us and it is up to us to reward them with victories on our travels and we have just got to make sure that is something we try and do.
“We have been in good form away from home and that is something that we need to continue if we are to challenge for a place in the top two of this division.”
James is expecting a tough test from the Railwaymen, though, despite the fact Steve Davis’ side are winless in five games, bottom of the table and on the back of 4-3 and 5-0 defeats to Swindon Town and Coventry City respectively.
“You can’t write any team off in this league because each team has different qualities,” James explained. “I think Crewe are a very attacking side and they show that in every game they play in because they do score goals.
“For them, it is unfortunate they have not been able to keep them out but they are a good side and they showed that at the DW earlier in the season because that was a game we didn’t win too comfortably – they probably could have got something out of that game.”
The Bacup-born defender will go into the game full of confidence, though, after notching his first goal for the club with a wonderful effort in Saturday’s 3-1 win over Chesterfield.
And he says he is keen to add more positivity to his game in what is a new role for him as a left wing back.
“I was happy with the goal; it is something I have been working on since my days at Manchester United, trying to get in around the edge of the penalty area and pick up opportunities from there.
“At the minute, I don’t think I have done that as much as I should have since I have been here but I managed to do it on Saturday, I gave Reece Wabara a shout to pull it back, he has found me and the rest is history.
“I have to work hard, work on things that I need to improve because there are obviously some things I had been doing that I needed to do better because there is a reason that I went out of the team.
“I felt for me there was a need to be more positive rather than just playing the game safely and I think I was a bit more attacking in both my passing and the positions I was getting myself in to on Saturday.
“I had not really played as a left wing back before, especially in a narrow style where I have nobody outside of me now as a left midfielder or left winger.
“I have always been used to linking up with a winger and playing one-twos to create space but now I am on my own and the onus is on me to beat the full back and create opportunities so I am working on that and looking to bring that into my game with more and more matches in that position.”