WITH a bump in the road which has seen his side crash out of the JPT and win just one of their last three in the league, Craig Davies’ message is simple: “Crack on with it.”
Latics still have the best form in League One over the past eight games despite their recent stumble, and have a solid opportunity to get back to winning ways against struggling Blackpool tomorrow.
We’re all disappointed with Saturday, as much as the manager and the fans and we want to put it right. We’re the ones who can put it right, and we’ll be going out and giving 110 per cent to get the resultCraig Davies
And with promotion the main pre-season aim – and now the only measure of success available this season – Davies says last weekend’s cup exit needs to be forgotten quickly.
“It’s happened, and we just need to crack with the league now,” he said.
“That’s all we’ve got left and we have to concentrate on that.
“We’re disappointed now, but in six months time it might work out for the best.
“We drew at Southend after losing against Burton, and we need to do everything we can to put that right.”
With four games to play before the new year, Gary Caldwell’s men have the chance to squeeze the gap on the league’s frontrunners and challenge for the automatic promotion places.
While Davies acknowledges Latics could, and perhaps should, have taken more from their league games against Burton (a 1-0 defeat) and Southend (a 0-0 draw) the striker is hoping for a strong reaction following last week’s cup loss to Barnsley.
“Ideally we would have liked to have taken nine points from the three league games in a week, but we’d have taken seven,” he said.
“We only took four, though, and we need to crack on from that.
“I think we can do that, starting on Saturday against Blackpool, a derby.
“The gaffer and his staff will get a good reaction from the players.
“We’re all disappointed with Saturday, as much as the manager and the fans and we want to put it right. We’re the ones who can put it right, and we’ll be going out and giving 110 per cent to get the result.”
Davies also thinks the depth of Wigan’s squad will help them through the festive period and into the race to the end of the season.
After a claggy start to the season left some fans worried, Latics have picked themselves up to go within striking distance of the automatic promotion places – and turning the corner into 2016 is when Davies says the league table starts to reflect clubs’ prospects.
“You get into December and January, and then you start to see how the league table is really going tofilter out,” he explained.
“It’s an important time, but we’ve got a really good squad here.
“If we can come out of the back end of January with the right results behind us, it’s the final stretch and it’s all up for grabs.”
Despite locking on to the main target of promotion, Davies admits losing the chance to go to Wembley with last weekend’s JPT defeat to Barnsley was a bitter blow. The result was a shock given Barnsley’s lowly league position – and despite the outcome being decided on penalties, Davies says the Tykes deserved to progress.
“It is what it is, and sometimes you get afternoons like that in football,” he said.
“Fair play to Barnsley, they came and had a right go at us, and in the end they probably shaded it.
“I thought when we scored the second goal we’d probably go on and win the game.
“But once it gets to penalties, it’s a lottery.
“It’s disappointing because it was a great chance to get through to Wembley.
“A lot of our players have never played at Wembley, and it would have been a great opportunity to pick up some silverware.”
Latics’ goals came from Will Grigg, who put in a
man-of-the-match display to go with his strikes.
And Davies thought his contribution could have been enough to see Latics through to the Northern Area Final of the competition.
“I’ve played with Will a few times, and he’s a really good player,” said Davies.
“It was a stage in the game where we were so attacking, and we were trying to link up to get us a goal.
“Will got the equaliser, and I thought we were going to go on and win the game.”