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25 November 2017

Barry delighted with 'tough afternoon's work' as Latics go top of the league.

  • First team coach Anthony Barry reflects on Latics' 3-1 win at Rotherham United.
  • Will Grigg, Alex Bruce and Michael Jacobs on target at the New York Stadium.
  • Latics top of Sky Bet League One after challenging afternoon in South Yorkshire.

First team coach Anthony Barry hailed Latics' 3-1 win at Rotherham United as 'a massive victory' coming off the back of last weekend's 2-1 defeat at home to Bradford City, with three points in South Yorkshire making it six points in five days following Latics' bounce back against Doncaster Rovers in midweek.

"It's a massive victory for us today with the way the week starting after the defeat at home to Bradford last weekend.

"We always wanted to bounce back and pick up six points from the two games and we've gone on and done that."

Will Grigg, Alex Bruce and Michael Jacobs were on target at the New York Stadium, with Bruce returning to the starting line-up as a result of Dan Burn's suspension for five yellow cards.

Barry continued:

"We've got a good squad of lads with a great team ethos and today showed the importance of that.  We didn't have Dan Burn or Nick Powell who are big players for us, but Alex Bruce has come in and done really well today, which shows how strong the squad is.

"We'd like to say we work on Alex Bruce's goal on the training ground, but we don't and I don't know where he's pulled that from.  He was excellent throughout the game, composed, relaxed and showed real class in his work."

On Grigg's fourth goal of the season, Barry added:

"People will always judge Will on what he's done in the past and how many he's scored over his career so far, so when he doesn't score for a few games people start to question him, but never us.  We know he's a top player and a top goal scorer at this level, so we've got nothing but faith in him."

Jacobs' goal helped push the game beyond the hosts, and Barry was delighted with its timing, as well as Latics' handling of Rotherham's leading goal scorer Kieffer Moore.

"The third goal is always important in games like that and today it allowed us to take the edge off Rotherham.  They're a good side and they tested us today.  We knew we'd have a big challenge on our hands with Kieffer Moore and their threats from midfield, so it was a tough afternoon's work but a good one in the end.

"Moore is a top player at this level so we had to respect his threat, we weren't perfect in doing that as he got an assist for the goal, but Chey (Dunkley) and Alex stood up to a tough challenge."

Almost 1,000 Latics supporters joined the team in victory at Rotherham, with Barry appreciative of their backing.

"We felt the energy from the supporters today.  They were great throughout the game and I just hope we've sent them home happy.

"Now we move on to another big week for us now and the games keep coming.  We move on now to a big cup tie for the club, it's one that we want to be successful in.  It'll be a tough night's work, it always is on a Friday night in the FA Cup with the extra pressures, but we'll be more than prepared and we're looking forward to it."

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