Mac calls for team spirit

JAMES McArthur has called on Wigan Athletic to recreate the ‘Spirit of West Ham’ as they aim to kickstart their season against Fulham tomorrow.

Even at this early stage of the campaign, the visit of the Cottagers is almost in the ‘must-win’ bracket, given Wigan’s awful recent run and a horror December schedule that’s just around the corner.

And McArthur reckons the clash is evoking memories of the dramatic win over West Ham at the end of last term, when Latics had to win, and duly recorded the three points that kept their season alive.

“It’s a cup final for us, no doubt about that, and we need to go into the game thinking we have to win no matter what it takes,” McArthur told the Evening Post.

“It’ll be similar to West Ham last year in that respect. There’s no margin for error and nothing less than a win will do.

“Look at the way we finished last season – that’s what we need to do again.

“We desperately need to start picking up points, because we don’t want to be stuck in a relegation battle from now until the end of the season.

“The fact of the matter is, looking at the table now, we’re in one at the moment, and we will be until we start picking up points.

“We need to find whatever it takes to get the three points that will hopefully kick us off on a run – whatever it takes.”

Latics will go into the clash boosted by their much-improved performance at Newcastle last Saturday, and also by Fulham’s well-documented travel sickness.

The Cottagers are winless on the road this term, and picked up just four away wins during the previous two seasons.

“They’re struggling too but they are a good side, we know that,” McArthur added.

“Some of their performances this season have been very good, and they’ll be coming in with exactly the same frame of mind.

“They try and get the ball down, as do we, which should make a good game.

“We just need to play exactly the way we played at Newcastle, with the same intensity, but take our chances this time.

“If we can do that, I’m sure we’ll be fine.

“I thought we played really well, we created numerous chances and unfortunately for ourselves we couldn’t take any of them.

“But that’s the way it’s going right now. Hopefully things will turn for us very soon.”

McArthur made a late cameo at Newcastle last week and, although he couldn’t inspire Latics to a late leveller, he’s champing at the bit for another chance.

“I would like to have played more this season,” he acknowledged.

“Everybody thinks being a footballer is an easy life, but it’s not at all. It’s hard not playing when you’ve trained hard all week, and I need to keep doing that and make it hard for the manager to leave me out.”