Latics defender Reece James looks ahead to the Emirates FA Cup replay against AFC Bournemouth at the DW Stadium.
- An excerpt from Reece James' interview in the Wigan Athletic v AFC Bournemouth match day programme.
- Defender tells the story of his recovery from injury and thriving season in Paul Cook's side.
- James says Latics will be just as determined to upset Bournemouth on Wednesday as they were in the 2-2 draw at the Vitality Stadium.
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Speaking for the Wigan Athletic match day programme ahead of Latics' Emirates FA Cup third round replay against AFC Bournemouth on Wednesday evening, defender Reece James reflects on the initial fixture, a 2-2 draw at the Vitality Stadium which saw the 24-year-old and his team mates suffer a heart-breaking late equaliser at the hands of Cherries defender Steve Cook.
HOW DO YOU ASSESS THE GAME AT BOURNEMOUTH NOW YOU’VE HAD CHANCE TO REFLECT?
“Once we scored the second we realised how big of an upset it would be. Everyone worked their socks off and did as well as they could, but it boiled down to one of those moments when they score that late on that it feels like a defeat.
“At the time it felt like we’d lost, it didn’t feel like we’d be bringing them back here for a replay or that it was an achievement to draw against a Premier League side in that moment.
“It was pure disappointment and quiet in the changing room straight after the game, but the gaffer picked us up and made everyone realise how well we’d actually done.
“We were 30 seconds away from coming home with the win, but you’ve got to remember how well we’re doing in the league and how well we actually performed on the day. You have to take the positives out of every game.”
HOW DO YOU APPROACH THESE MATCHES AGAINST PREMIER LEAGUE OPPOSITION? IT MUST BE A COMPLETELY DIFFERENT TYPE OF PRESSURE TO THE PREVIOUS FA CUP MATCHES?
“Fylde in the second round was a tough game because everyone expected us to win. They sat off us and tried to pick up the pieces when we made mistakes.
“It’s the opposite for us now because Bournemouth have got the pressure. We approached the first game if a different manner than Fylde did to us, but it’s that same type of pressure.
“We played with freedom, almost like a free hit at them and that showed in the first half because playing with that much freedom helped us to go 2-0 up.
“It shows how much quality they’ve got to come from 2-0 down in the first half and draw 2-2. We’re well aware of the quality they possess.
“We have to pay them the respect that they deserve, but we’ve got to back ourselves in the way that we did in the first game.”
TEAMS HAVE MADE IT DIFFICULT FOR US TO SCORE IN RECENT HOME GAMES, BUT WE’VE STILL MANAGED TO EXTEND OUR LEAD AT THE TOP OF LEAGUE ONE, HOW DO YOU ASSESS OUR RECENT PERFORMANCES?
“We’ve had good chances in the games, but a lot of it is to do with teams coming to the DW Stadium and sitting in. They’re paying us respect by doing that and it shows how well we’re doing.
“Teams are wary of the threats we have got. Griggy (Will Grigg) is renowned in this league so people are always going to be very cautious. We’ve got quality in wide positions with Crackers (Michael Jacobs), Ryan (Colclough) and Gavin Massey, and adding Powelly (Nick Powell), Vaughany (James Vaughan) and Jamie Walker into that mix we’ve got threats all over the pitch.
“Teams have come here to try and take a point and that’s something we’ve got to work to get used to and try to break down.
“There have been instances when we’ve scored early goals at home and teams have been forced to come out, that’s what we’ve got to work towards doing more often.
“It’s that period of the season as well when teams don’t want to lose. It’s been a busy time over Christmas and straight after in this run of fixtures teams begin to break off either way in the league table. Teams get cautious and we saw that with Shrewsbury, because they don’t want to drop points and lose any ground on us. We can look at it in the same way because they haven’t gained anything on us.”
READ MORE FROM REECE JAMES ON HIS RECOVERY FROM A 20-MONTH INJURY IN WEDNESDAY NIGHT'S MATCH DAY PROGRAMME