Latics guest player column - Craig Morgan

Craig Morgan
Craig Morgan

Three league games in, and we’re happy enough with our points total.

We probably deserved a little bit more, but we’re up and running now. It’s a start.

We’re playing against some quality teams, and it’s credit to ourselves that we’ve done well and been a match for all of the three teams we’ve played.

You’re never ably to rely on what you’ve done in a previous game.

We’re still learning a lot about each other, which does take a little bit of time, but I think you can see it’s gelling already.

Bristol City were at home on the opening day, and credit to them, they pushed for the win.

They were always coming on strong and managed to get there in the end.

But we felt there were a lot of positives to take from it, which we were able to take into the Blackburn game.

Some of the good things we did in the Bristol game shone through in the Blackburn game, and it enabled us to get a very good victory.

It’s nice when it all comes together like that, but there’s always a different test waiting just around the corner.

Birmingham were a different team again to Blackburn, and that’s what you’re going to face this season – one good team after another, all slightly different to the last, but all good at what they do.

We showed great character to come back against Birmingham, and that’s something this team has and will never be questioned.

We’ll always go to the end, and put ourselves through anything as athletes to try and win the game.

It’s good we got there in the end, because we didn’t deserve to be losing to their goal.

The goalscorer clearly encroached at the penalty, and we also thought there was an offside in the build-up, so it was a double-whammy.

But there’s nothing you can do about it, you can’t change it, you’re 1-0 down, and it’s about reacting to it.

It was great to see Craig Davies pop up at the end with the equaliser.

He’s come back really fit this year, he’s trained really hard and he’s got himself on the bench.

He then comes off the bench and gets himself a goal, and if he’d sulked about the place, he wouldn’t have been in a position to do that.

In football, you’re going to get your setbacks and your knocks.

You’ve got to be professional and work hard, and eventually the rewards will come.

Everyone in the squad wants to play. If you’re not playing, you want to be on the bench.

And if you’re not in the squad, you want to be on the bench.

In football, sometimes you have to be patient.

Obviously it’s frustrating if you’re not involved, but if you want to show the manager and the staff you should be playing, you do it on the training pitch, and then in the game.

There’s no point going in every five minutes and speaking to the gaffer. It doesn’t get you anywhere.

This weekend’s clash at Nottingham Forest will be a real test for us.

We go there unbeaten in two, with a little bit of confidence in the camp.

They’re at home, and our job is try and get control of the game and quieten their crowd down.

It’s something we managed to do at Bristol City in the first half, but we know we’ll have to do it for more than 45 minutes this time on a big stage.

We were under no illusions at the start of the season that we’d be able to look down the fixture list and say: ‘Three points here, three points there’ - it doesn’t work like that.

There’s too many clubs with too many quality players spending too much money, week in, week out.

You can’t rest for a minute at this level.

You beat Blackburn 3-0 and you’re in the following morning, already thinking about the next game.

It’s the same after Birmingham, straight-away we were thinking about Forest.

You can’t stand still in this game, otherwise you get left behind.

The squad’s been boosted by three new signings this week - Jordi Gomez, Luke Garbutt and Shaun MacDonald.

They’ve all played at a high level, the quality will be there, and that’s where we want to be.

You’ve always got to have dreams and goals, although at the moment we’ve got our own targets and how we’re going to approach that.

From what we’ve seen so far, though, there’s nothing to be scared of in this division – we need to believe in ourselves.

I’ve been trying to keep an eye on the Olympics, the medals tables and that, and it’s fantastic to see how well Team GB are doing.

As a professional athlete, you understand what they go through to get to where they get to – we know the pain and the sacrifice.

Day in, day out, you need to be doing the right things, being professional, even though you know your friends are doing different things you can’t do.

I’ve not really watched much of the action, to be honest.

It’s either on too late or too early – I never know when it’s on!

To be fair, I don’t get too much time off, what with my little boy playing football.

It’s just nice to watch the kids play with freedom, without any of the pressure involved.

George is nine, he’s a striker, and he’s doing all right to be fair to him.

He’s at Everton, which I think is the best place for him.

It’s nice to see people like Luke (Garbutt) progressing through the ranks there, all the way through, knowing they’ll be given the chance.

I know that if George progresses and does well, he’s at probably the best club to get his chance to go for the first team.

He runs rings round me in the garden so who knows?

Craig Morgan was speaking to Paul Kendrick