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WARREN JOYCE: “WE HAVE A LOT OF GUTS AND DETERMINATION IN THE SIDE”

21 January 2017

Boss full of praise for character and desire to win as Latics record third consecutive victory and climb out of the Sky Bet Championship relegation zone.

  • Warren Joyce reflects on his side’s 2-1 victory over Brentford.
  • Manager full of praise for players as they record third consecutive and continue good start to 2017.
  • Joyce: “We have a lot of guts and determination in the side.”
Wigan Athletic manager Warren Joyce praised the way his side adapted to a different game-plan as they recorded a third consecutive victory with a 2-1 win over Brentford in the Sky Bet Championship on Saturday afternoon.

Reflecting post-match with Latics PlayerHD, Joyce said Dean Smith’s Bees posed a different threat to that of Nottingham Forest and Burton Albion – Latics’ last two opponents – and that he was pleased with how is players reacted to a change in style.

“We had to have a different game plan today because Brentford are a good footballing side and have passed teams off the pitch by playing through them,” Joyce explained.

“So it’s different to Burton because we had to be brave in the way that we set up, even though we knew we would open it up in wide areas.

“We had a plan actually to play through them and out-pass them through the midfield areas to get the midfield players on the ball and get them running and that’s where we get the goals from.”

Sam Morsy curled home a wonderful opener for Joyce’s side before they benefitted from a bit of luck as the Egyptian’s shot was knocked into his own goal by Brentford captain Harlee Dean.

And Joyce said he felt his side were good value for more than the two goals they scored at the DW Stadium.

“I thought we were good value for more goals during the first-half actually,” he said. “Samy hit the post and there was some good slick play where we could have been up by more goals by half-time had the final ball been better.

“There was always the danger in the second-half that they would get one in the scramble but I also thought we were good value for the third with the chances that Michael Jacobs and Griggy [Will Grigg] had up there, and I thought they were both excellent today.”

Joyce played down the importance of the win and the significance of moving out of the bottom three, though, stating that it’s important to take a step-by-step approach.

“There’s a lot of spirit in the side,” Joyce added. “I think we have a lot of guts and determination and that helped us get over the line.

“I think we just have to be consistent in our approach; let’s not get too high or too low, that probably bores people to death but we have to take each game at a time and if you have a consistent level of performance and you see things on the training ground every day, you have a chance of seeing them in the games.

“We have to build on it now and progress in the next few games.”

Talking about a couple of individuals in what he stated was an outstanding performance, Joyce continued:

“I thought Callum [Connolly] was outstanding; defensively he was sound in a situation where he opened it up down his side of the pitch.

“He’s a credit to Everton Football Club; they’ve put the work into his development and we have just selected him and given him the opportunity to play.

“It was also good to get Perks back in with the group; we were wary that he is coming back from a hamstring injury and that’s why we made the change but he’s come through unscathed.

“There were a few with little bits of knocks and niggles with the heavy ground and Yanic was out today, but it shows the character of the players that they’re willing to put themselves out there when they’re not 100% fit, for the fans of the football club.”

And Joyce left his final words to the club’s supporters, who produced a brilliant performance from the stands as Latics defended resiliently with their backing in the final few minutes after Jota’s late strike gave the visitors hope of a point.

“There’s no doubt we were under pressure towards the end of the game and there could have been moans and groans from the supporters and that drags the players down as well,” Joyce said.

“But in the last few minutes, they were a massive help, it’s a big team effort and you need them driving the players on and inspiring them as much as you need the players need to excite the fans – it’s a joint effort.”

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