EMMERSON Boyce has called on his colleagues to “take full responsibility for their own performances” as Wigan Athletic bid to stop the rot at Newcastle tomorrow.
Wigan’s 3-1 home defeat to Bolton last weekend left them joint-bottom of the Premier League after eight games, ahead of the trip to unbeaten Newcastle.
The frustrating aspect of that game was that the misery was all self-inflicted, all three of Bolton’s goals stemming from individual defensive errors when Latics had the ball.
Boyce, who has recently returned to the side after hamstring trouble, accepts Wigan have to tighten up at the back if they are to have any chance of turning their season around.
To do that, he suggests every single one of the players take a long, hard look at themselves and ask whether they are doing all they can for the cause.
“It’s time for everyone to take full responsibility for their own performances and their own actions,” Boyce told the Evening Post.
“We all know how difficult the situation we’re in is, and we can’t just keep thinking it’s going to click like it did last season.
“The only way we’re going to turn this round is with hard work on the training ground, and maybe a few home truths need to be said after last Saturday.
“At the end of the day, we have a good bunch of lads here and we just need to find a solution to the problems we obviously have.
“As a senior player, I’ll try and do my bit, especially to help the younger players in the squad, and try and keep spirits up.
“But most of the players here were here last year and know what’s it’s all about - getting results.”
The Bolton game was the first of a six-match sequence of very ‘winnable’ games for Wigan, who have a horror schedule coming up in December with clashes against Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool and Manchester United.
And Boyce accepts failure to pick up a few points between now and the start of December could leave the side with too much ground to make up in the New Year.
“We need to start picking up three points as quickly as possible because this next month could well determine our season,” he acknowledged.
“We’re second from bottom on goal difference and, if we don’t get much from our next five games heading into December, it doesn’t look too good.
“The last thing we want to be doing is playing catch-up after Christmas, because we know from experience how difficult that is.
“It’s going to be an interesting month for us, but if we can pick up a win or two it will propel us up that table.
“It’s still in our own hands, it’s still very early in the season and hopefully we can turn it round as quickly as possible.”
Wigan’s cause has not been helped by injuries and suspensions at the back, which have meant Roberto Martinez has been able to field an unchanged back four on only one occasion this term.
“Our back four’s been disrupted all year,” Boyce recognised. “I’ve been injured, Antolin’s (Alcaraz) just back from injury and Steve’s (Gohouri) been injured and suspended.
“At the end of the day, though, we had a full squad available on Saturday, and hopefully we can grow as a unit and become more and more solid.”