Latics guest column - Jake Buxton

Jake Buxton
Jake Buxton

Every point is great for us at the moment in the situation we find ourselves in.

But particularly at home we were looking to get three points against Nottingham Forest last weekend.

It wasn’t to be, but it wasn’t down to any lack of effort or commitment.

We just maybe lacked someone with that little bit of magic to make the difference...and it maybe does need a set-piece, or a defender popping up with a goal, to help.

It’s not just down to the attacking players to score the goals.

It falls to us all as a team to score the goals.

That’s 12 points I think now from the last nine games, and we’re hoping come the end of the season that there will be three worse teams than what we are.

As a defender it was pleasing to record another clean sheet – our third in four matches.

But obviously it’s not just down to the back four and the goalkeeper.

It’s down to the defensive midfielders, and indeed the whole group who defend as a unit.

We are trying to limit the amount of balls that me and big Dan (Burn) have to deal with, and we’re managing to do that at the moment.

I have to say it’s been tough going in recent weeks - when we were progressing in the FA Cup, and one or two of the fixtures were moved.

The travelling we’ve had too – all the way down to Fulham and QPR in the last couple of weeks – has taken its toll on a couple of the performances.

The QPR game in particular was probably the first time all season I felt we’ve been running on empty.

As a result, I think this is a good week for us to have no game.

Blackburn don’t have that luxury – although they won in midweek – and hopefully we can use that to our advantage this weekend.

It’s going to be a battle to stay up – but we all believe we can.

We know the position we’re in, we’re in a dogfight, we’re not deluded enough to think it won’t be tough between now and the end of the season.

I’m not massively into stats, but if you look at the form we’ve been in, and the amount of clean sheets we’ve had, it points to the fact that we will survive.

I’ve been in groups before that have survived in this division and I know what it takes.

And I’d like to think we’re solid enough to be able to stay in this division.

There’s 12 games to go now and, with each game that goes by, they become gradually more important.

We were let off the hook a little bit on Saturday, because Bristol City were 2-0 up at Newcastle and only drew.

Every time you don’t win, and your rivals also fail to win, you sort of breathe out a little bit with relief.

We know we can’t rely on other results between now and the end of the season.

We have to take control of our own destiny, by the scruff of the neck, and try and win our own games.

By hook or by crook, we have to find a way to win.

We’re finding a way to stay in games at the moment, and we’ve done that for much of the season to be fair.

We’ve got to step up now, and find a way to dominate games, and start picking up three points.

A point is never a bad thing, but when you’re down at the bottom three points can be massive – especially against Blackburn on Saturday.