Wigan Athletic can build on their rare clean sheet against Fulham and use it as a platform to move up the Championship table.
That’s the message from new captain Stephen Warnock, who hopes the solidity shown against the Cottagers can become the norm moving forwards.
Prior to the weekend, Latics had kept just one clean all season – against struggling Blackburn in their opening home game.
They conceded one goal against both Birmingham and QPR, a couple against Bristol City, Sheffield Wednesday and Norwich, and a hefty four in a seven-goal thriller at Nottingham Forest last month.
In addition, they also leaked two goals in exiting the EFL Cup at League One Oldham.
But after keeping out high-flying Fulham at the weekend, Warnock is hoping a corner has finally been turned.
“The clean sheet was a big positive,” he told the Evening Post. “And we knew that was something we had to improve on.
“Teams are always going to create chances, we want to limit how many they create now. It’s one thing we’ve looked at.
“We’ve been on a bad run, and we’re trying to bring a bit of calmness in the changing rooms, tell the lads to keep keep going and do the right things. It will come and things will change.”
Meanwhile, boss Gary Caldwell is still waiting to learn the severity of the injury sustained by Alex Gilbey against Fulham.
The summer signing from Colchester had been filling in at right-back, with Reece Burke joining Kyle Knowle and Donervon Daniels on the sidelines, but he too is now on the crocked list.
One option for Friday’s trip to Preston is young Luke Burke, who started the campaign in that position before slipping down the pecking order.
The 18-year-old got 90 minutes under his belt yesterday in the Development Squad’s 2-0 defeat at Fleetwood in the Central League Cup.
Also in action was Kaiyne Woolery, the deadline-day arrival from Bolton, who also played the full game and showed some nice touches up front.
l Tickets for Friday’s game at Preston are no longer on sale online, with the deadline having passed last night.
However, fans can still buy tickets from the DW Stadium until 4.30pm on the day of the game.
Kick-off is 7.45pm and it’s live on Sky Sports.