Delighted to net his first of the campaign, Lee Evans said it's all about building for next season now that Latics can enjoy being safe in the Sky Bet Championship.
- iFollow Latics - Lee Evans post-Preston North End.
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- Lee Evans - "We showed at the start of the season that we can battle with the best of them."
Speaking to iFollow Latics after his side's 2-0 victory against Preston North End to secure Sky Bet Championship safety, midfielder Lee Evans started by putting a clear claim to the second goal... despite the deflection.
"It was there to be hit, it was a good strike but it took a little deflection. I'm certainly claiming it, first of the season."
The 2-0 win, coupled with Rotherham United's 3-1 defeat to Birmingham City, means Latics will line-up in the Championship for the 2019-20 season, something the Wales international believes the club deserves.
"We've had our ups and downs this season, but I think we deserve it.
"20 minutes into the Leeds game (being in the relegation zone) was a massive point in our season. We needed to dig in and nobody expected us to get a result.
"To win the game there against a team chasing promotion was great.
"The two games in a few days probably caught up with a few of us after being down to 10 men on Friday. We were a bit leggy, so Preston going down to 10 men helped us, but the rest is history and we're safe for another season."
"I've missed a bit of football this year and some of my performances haven't been to the standard I normally set. It's been up and down, so it's been nice to play well for the last three games and contribute with an assist on Friday and a goal today.
"The aim is to continue that in the final two games of the season going into next year.
"We've performed against the top teams in this league. We've had some really tough games over the last six weeks, so to do it against them shows what we're capable of.
"We need to be more consistent next year, but I'm sure that'll come.
"We showed at the start of the season that we can battle with the best of them. We need to try and progress a bit next year. Who knows what will happen, but the main thing now is that we're delighted to be safe."
Celebrating safety at home with the DW Stadium crowd, Evans added:
"It was great to celebrate at home because the fans have stuck with us all season. To see their reaction after the game was special. That one is for them and they've now got another season of Championship football to look forward to."