Buxton raring to go again after two weeks away.It’s been almost two weeks since Latics last kicked a ball in the Sky Bet Championship, and as we now close in on the return to action at the DW Stadium this coming Saturday, former Burton Albion defender and Latics summer recruit Jake Buxton sat down at the Wigan Athletic Training Centre to discuss Latics’ aims for the coming weeks, and of course his time at the Pirelli Stadium at a time when the Brewers’ Championship ambitions were only in their infancy.
The former Derby County man began:
“I’m enjoying myself since joining in the summer, it’s a cracking club and I’ve been made to feel very welcome. It’s been the same with the supporters and I feel like I’m making a good connection with them.
“As a group with a number of new players we really wanted to make an impact when we played Preston the other week because the supporters travelled in big numbers.
“We’re all disappointed and it wasn’t to be, but we’ve worked very hard since and we’re improving in every game.
“We’re looking for the last two results against Wolves and Brentford to kick start our season, the battling displays we put in need to be a common theme in the way we play because this division is so tough.
“It took until the dying minutes against Wolves to get the three points which we very much needed, but that’s what is expected of us and then we had to be on our A game in the last match against an established Championship side in Brentford and a striker in Scott Hogan who had just been named player of the month.”
Reflecting further on Latics’ last match, the 0-0 draw at Griffin Park, Buxton continued, praising the commitment of his team mates.
“We had to scrap for every point in the two games before the international fixtures. We had to be nines and tens out of ten at the back against Brentford.
“Getting stuck in and the old school style of Stevie (Warnock), myself and a few of the other lads worked to our benefit.
“I’m not as talented as some of the other players, so I have to make up for that with my honesty, brute force and effort to help the team.
“Everyone to a man was switched on that day, from Adam (Bogdan) in goal right through midfield and attack.
“The wingers in particular deserved credit as well. Michael Jacobs worked tirelessly to stop balls coming into our box, which is asking him to go above and beyond his usual trade.
With his former club next up for Buxton and Latics, the defender called for the same commitment shown at Brentford when the Brewers visit the DW this weekend.
“We’re definitely going to have to be as committed and as determined when we’re back against Burton on Saturday, their style has opened up a little bit, but at the same time they’re going to be tough to beat.
“We would have preferred to play another game straight after Brentford, but as it’s happened we’ve had a few days to rest and then the hard work continued.
“Preparations started well and we’ve had extra time to prepare for what we see as three winnable games coming up.”
Buxton featured heavily in Burton’s National League promotion winning side back in the 2008/09 season, before moving with manager Nigel Clough from the Pirelli Stadium to Derby’s iPro Stadium for his first taste of Championship football.
Speaking fondly of his time at the club and working with Clough, Buxton continued:
“It’s a lovely club Burton Albion and one I’ve got fond memories of.
“It’s very well run and the people who work there are very similar to the people who work at Wigan Athletic. Both clubs are full of nice, honest people.
“It’s a credit to them how they’ve performed in the Championship so far, they’re making a right good go of it.
“I’ve followed Burton’s journey closely since I left, and despite what I’ve achieved since, sometimes I see leaving as a regret, because the team and the supporters have had an unbelievable time with the promotions and the success they’ve had.
“They haven’t had any downfalls at all and so far, everything is going well for them. As an ex-player I’m very happy to see that.
“It’s frightening how they’ve made the journey up to the Championship from where they were when I was at the club.”
On his former boss, Buxton added:
“Their manager Nigel Clough is a big reason why I’m playing in this division. He gave me the opportunity to step up from Burton when he took me with him to Derby County.
“At some point I want to repay Nigel, but obviously not this weekend.”