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15 July 2018

Anthony Barry says any pre-season anxiety has disappeared quickly after a confident display in Latics' 2-1 victory at Tranmere Rovers.

  • WATCH: Anthony Barry's reaction to Latics' pre-season victory at Tranmere Rovers.
  • Will Grigg penalty and Jamie Walker's second half strike helped to earn a 2-1 win.
  • Latics now move on and head to Spain for a week of warm weather training.

2018-19 Season Cards

Speaking to iFollow Latics after Wigan Athletic's 2-1 win against Tranmere Rovers at Prenton Park, first team coach Anthony Barry said he and the rest of the staff were pleased with the players' application to their first public pre-season match, and in particular the fast start on the afternoon.

"The lads were really looking forward to the game and getting away from the behind closed doors games because coming to a stadium always gives it a different dynamic.

"It was a good run out for us in the end and we got what we wanted to get out of the game, so all round it was a good day for the boys."

Latics took the lead inside just two minutes courtesy of a Will Grigg penalty, the spot kick coming on the striker's three year anniversary at the club following a foul on him only 37 seconds into the contest.

"The penalty was a nice moment," Barry continued. "It took any of the anxiety out of the players. It got us up and running and allowed us to breathe and play.

So no VAR needed then Anthony..? "I think it was quite a clear penalty, I don't think VAR would ever be needed for that one.

All jokes aside, Barry was full of praise for Latics' opponents in what proved a tough first test of the summer:

"The Tranmere lads played really well and the foul for the penalty was just one mistake in a game in which they really matched up to us and they can take a lot of encouragement from this game going into the rest of their pre-season.

"Naturally at this stage of pre-season it's not about results, it's about our habits on and off the ball and our fitness levels. Myself, Leam (Richardson) and the gaffer were all impressed with the application from the players."

Match Report Tranmere Rovers 1 Wigan Athletic 2
16-year-olds Jensen Weir and Joseph Gelhardt stepped up from the Under 18s to feature in the second half, with first year professional Tylor Golden also introduced from the bench. The trio featured alongside Darron Gibson, Ross Wallace and the returning James Perch, all of which have been training with Latics during pre-season.

Barry continued:

"We've got a mixture training with us at the minute because when the transfer window is open, you're always open to options and of course we've got a good group of lads who did so well last year and we trust them to go on and do well again this time around. It's about trying to find that balance in the team at the moment."

After a number of changes around half time and the 60-minute mark, Latics took a 2-0 lead at Prenton Park, with January signing from Hearts, Jamie Walker, on the score sheet with an excellently worked goal. On Walker's performance, Barry added:

"With Jamie, he came down from Scotland with a slight injury and he's had to adapt from the Scottish Premiership to English football which is a completely different challenge. It's always tough for new players who come in during the January window into a team already doing so well. It was tough for him to get opportunities last season, but there's no hiding from the fact that he's a fantastic player with great ability.

"He's training really hard, he's changed his whole regime regarding his fitness and his diet, so we expect to see a really good Jamie Walker this time around."

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