Joyce: League table doesn’t bother me

Warren Joyce
Warren Joyce

Warren Joyce insists he won’t be getting carried away with Wigan Athletic moving out of the Championship bottom three for the first time in three months - because he’s ‘never once looked at the league table since I’ve been here’.

Wigan’s 2-1 victory over Brentford - which was far more comfortable than the scoreline would suggest - saw them jump from 23rd to 21st in the standings, with Burton dropping in to the bottom three on goal difference.

But Joyce is keeping his feet firmly on the ground, with 19 games still to go.

“Believe it or not, I’ve never once looked at the league table since I’ve been here - and I’ll continue not to,” the Latics boss admitted.

“It doesn’t really matter what the table says at the moment.

“It only matters what we are doing, and if we’re trying to win every game, you’ll think we’re okay.

“Looking at tables, and trying to calculate what other teams are doing, you can’t affect that.

“There’s lot of points still to play for, and we’ve got to try and win every game we play.

“That’s the only way we can look at it.”

Despite picking up the three points - and a third win on the bounce - Latics only leapfrogged the Brewers thanks to a 91st-minute winner from Cardiff that sank Nigel Clough’s men in South Wales.

Not that it raised a flicker of interest to tunnel-visioned Joyce.

“I’m not concerned with that to be honest, and I know that’s boring for you (media) guys,” he insisted.

“I’m only concerned about us, and our next game, how we train, how we play.

“Whatever anyone else is doing or thinking is up to them.

“All we can do is try our best to prepare, do our best in training and do our best in games, for the football club and for the fans.

“We’ve just got to keep taking one game at a time and doing the right things, and not take our eye off what we’re trying to achieve.”

Midfielder Sam Morsy, who signed a new deal at the start of the week, was once again impressive, scoring the first goal on 28 minutes and then seeing his cross bundled past his own goalkeeper by Bees defender Harlee Dean four minutes later.

Brentford pulled one back right at the death through substitute Jota, but anything other than a Latics victory would have been an absolute travesty.

“I thought there were a lot of good performances to be fair,” assessed Joyce.

“Everybody contributed, it was a real team effort.

“Things will happen in other games, things will happen in our games, where you have bad luck, or you just don’t manage the game well enough.

“We could have managed the game better today, it could have come back to bite us against Nottingham Forest, we were comfortable for long periods against Ipswich, but we got there today.”

The Latics chief was able to name both Ryan Tunnicliffe and Marcus Browne on the bench after their loan arrivals from Fulham and West Ham respectively, with the former getting a run-out in the last quarter.

“They were late arrivals, they both drove up yesterday and it’s a difficult one,” revealed Joyce.

“We knew we had a couple of knocks and bruises, and we were a bit anxious about what kind of a side we could field.

“It was important we could get in a couple of extra bodies to help us between now and the end of the season.

“January is always a difficult window unless you’ve got loads of dough.

“We’re in the bargain basement, but the boys we’ve brought in are not looking bargain basement quality - despite coming in for minimum outlays.”