A snippet from Chelsea loanee Reece James' programme column ahead of Latics' clash with West Bromwich Albion.
- Match Day Programme: Reece James is our big interview in issue seven.
- Chelsea loanee previews Saturday's clash with West Bromwich Albion.
- Reece James tells us about the transition from academy football to the ruthless nature of the Sky Bet Championship.
REECE, IT MUST HAVE BEEN A BIT OF A WHIRLWIND FOR YOU THIS SEASON COMING STRAIGHT FROM ACADEMY FOOTBALL INTO THE SKY BET CHAMPIONSHIP? HOW DO YOU FEEL YOU’VE ADAPTED?
“I think the first few months have gone well, obviously the transition between academy football and men’s football is significantly different as you’re playing against much better and more experienced players, but we’ve made a good start to the season and as a group we should be pleased.
“I know I have to keep my performance levels as high as possible because I have to repay the trust that the manager has put in me.
“I look back at every performance and I’m keen to learn the aspects of the game that I could do better in, it’s all part of gaining experience and improving as a player. As a group we’re all good at analysing performance and I think that’s why we bounce back from disappointment so well.”
WEST BROM ARE SECOND IN THE CHAMPIONSHIP GOING INTO THE GAME, WHAT DO YOU EXPECT FROM THEM?
“I play with Kyle Edwards and Sam Field for England Under 20s, so I’ve heard all about the quality West Brom have in their squad, but I feel we have that quality as well and at home we’ve been extremely strong.
“The gaffer has us ready every week no matter what the challenge. We have to focus on how we can impact the game and how we can deliver a result for our supporters.
“We’ll be tested by West Brom, there’s no doubt about that. They have players like Dwight Gayle, Jay Rodriguez and Harvey Barnes in really good form, so as a defensive unit we’ll need to work hard as we do every week, but as an attacking unit we need to concentrate on taking advantage of their weaknesses.
“On a personal level I’ve stuck to my usual routine to make sure I’m ready to compete after the international games. I didn’t play on Monday against Czech Republic so I feel fresh and ready to go after a couple of days back training with the lads.
“I’ve studied who I’m up against to recognise strengths and weaknesses, as we all do, so I’d say I’m pretty well prepared.”
“The fans have been amazing to me. I am always looking to improve and hopefully I can help the team to make it a successful season for the supporters.
“Wherever my career takes me I will always get my head down and work hard for the club and its supporters, and that’s exactly what I will continue to do here for the Wigan Athletic fans.
“I would say the game that stands out the most is Stoke City away. The fans were great that night and travelled with us in good numbers, they were loud throughout the whole game.
“I remember the first 20 minutes being really tough against a team with Premier League quality all over the pitch, but we soon grew into the game and got stronger. We managed to take our chances and it turned out to be a very enjoyable game. It was nice to get an early away win, especially in the style we beat them and 3-0 was a well-deserved score line for us.”