Latics guest player column: Will Grigg

Will Grigg
Will Grigg

We’re all looking forward to two big games over the Easter period, against Swindon and Rochdale.

And I’m just delighted to be involved, because I thought I’d be away with Northern Ireland.

But the manager here has spoken to Michael O’Neill (the Northern Ireland manager) and they’ve agreed to let me stay.

I’ve been pleased with my form in recent weeks, and it’s nice to be able to try and continue that.

It would have been weird for me to have to leave the boys at such a vital stage of the season.

I’d like to think I’m a big part of the team, and you always want to do as much as you can for the team.

If it was a different stage of the season, and the circumstances were different, then obviously I’d have liked to have gone away with Northern Ireland.

But it’s such a key part of our season that I have to be here and do what I can.

I’m so grateful that the two managers have been able to sort the situation out for me.

The decision was taken out of my hands, but thankfully they’ve agreed that it was more important for me to stay here.

Obviously I do still want to play for Northern Ireland, and everybody knows that.

I’d also like to think that it won’t affect my chances of going to the European Championships this summer.

I have spoken to the manager and he’s told me it won’t, so I can only take his word for that.

All I can do is keep scoring goals for Wigan and hopefully make his decision even easier.

One of the downsides of being in League One is you don’t get the international breaks, and some players have to miss big games.

Hopefully that won’t be a problem next year, and we’ll be in the Championship.

That’s been the aim from day one, and we’re still on track.

We’ve got to keep going for the final push.

It was hard going against Bradford last weekend, but we got there in the end.

We knew it would be a tough game – they played with two banks of four and made it very difficult for us.

They’re probably one of the most organised teams we’ve come up against, and we had to be patient.

The gaffer told us at half-time to keep going, keep going, keep pressing, and we’d get there.

When it’s wave after wave of pressure, there’s only so much you can soak up.

The three boys who came off the bench all made a difference, and we deserved the win in the end.

We’re going into every game at the moment with the mindset that we have to win the game.

We’ve got nine games left, and we know that if we win them all then we will get promoted.

As simple as it sounds, that’s got to be the mentality for the rest of the season.

Haris Vuckic was the hero of last weekend’s win over Bradford.

He’s had a big few weeks to be fair – with his wife giving birth to their first child – and I’m delighted for him.

He’s worked really hard this season, getting in to the team, before getting injured, and eventually you get the rewards.

It’s a real squad effort here at Wigan, and that’s the key to doing well.

Right from day one, the gaffer has been very keen to stress that.

We’ve got a big squad here, and you need that if you’re going to achieve any success.

It’s not about the first 11 players, or even 15, or even 18. It’s about the whole squad, and that’s shown all season.

We’re going to need every member of the squad in the next few weeks, especially over the Easter weekend.

It’s going to be tough, with two games in the space of three days.

But looking at the flip side, we could have a six-point gap to third place at the end of it.

We know we do have the resources to change things if we need, and not many teams have that luxury.

Walsall have a weekend off because of the internationals in their squad.

And that might not turn out to be an advantage in the long run, because they’ll have to be playing Saturday-Tuesday for the rest of the season to catch up.

And I’m not sure they have the squad to be able to keep up.

There’s also the mental side, and being six points behind can only add to the pressure if you’re chasing.

We just have to concentrate on ourselves, win our games and try and get the points on the board.

It won’t be easy at Swindon, because they like to pass the ball around. It took us 96 minutes to break them down at the DW, and it was probably one of the toughest games we’ve had.

We got there in the end, and hopefully it’ll be the same this time.

Will Grigg was talking to Paul Kendrick