While Will Grigg admits he needs to find his scoring boots, the striker insists his contribution to Latics’ cause of late has been just as valuable.
In contrast to last season, where his 25 goals in the competition made him the League One top goalscorer, Grigg has found the net just six times in this season’s Championship.
The last of his league goals came on September 27 in a 2-1 win over Wolves, but Grigg thinks an important part of his contribution goes unnoticed.
“I’ve had to adapt to a different role in the side and I’m doing a lot more defensive work that maybe people don’t recognise,” he said.
“But that doesn’t bother me as long as the manager and the players know the jobs I’m doing for the side.
“If other people don’t see that it doesn’t affect me at all.
“I know I’m doing an important job for the team and obviously I’d like a few more goals and I need a few more goals, but if I’m helping other people score and helping the side then that will do for me.
“Last year I was scoring all the goals but I think to be honest in the past two months my performance levels have been good.
“Sometimes people don’t recognise that.”
As well as playing a different role in the side, Grigg also explained his lack of goals is down to not having chances, and explained he is confident of ending the drought if opportunities come his way.
“I know I have to score goals, that is my job, but it’s not a case of not trying, or not getting in the positions, it’s just not quite happening at the moment,” he said.
“I missed a few chances at Brentford and one at Derby away but apart from that I don’t think I’ve had a clear cut chance and that’s obviously something that’s disappointing.
“I’m still confident if I get chances I will score.
“We need to get a few more goals throughout the team and that’s what we’ve been doing for the past month or so but we need to continue that and if I can add a few that would be great to help the side.”
Nottingham Forest visit the DW Stadium tomorrow, and Grigg can help Latics close the gap between the sides to three points.
Forest were also the last side Grigg found the net against, in the FA Cup fourth round on January 7, though a slick team performance isn’t the most important thing for the Northern Ireland international.
“It’s not really performance levels that matter right now,” he said,
“I think we showed that against Wolves, (a 1-0 win on February 14).
“It wasn’t a great game, it was probably a really poor game from both sides but we won it and that’s all that matters.”
And Grigg thinks fans need to be braced for more of the same as Latics aim to preserve their Championship status.
“We’re not far off at all. I think we’re set up to be solid, so I don’t think there’s a team that’s really outplayed us, it’s just if we get that little bit of quality in the final third,” he said.
“Sometimes you have to turn teams around like we did last Saturday against Preston.
“It wasn’t a pretty performance but we weren’t far away from that win.
“If we get that then that’s all that matters.”
It’s a bumpy road ahead of Latics, but Grigg is confident there will be something to celebrate at the end. “I think there is light down the tunnel and if we keep it up we will be more than comfortable,” he said.