Power: Latics need Max-imum returns

Max Power

Max Power

Max Power says an improved performance is essential when Latics battle with Barnsley tomorrow night.

Despite defeating Rotherham United 3-2 on Saturday, Wigan weren’t at their best throughout a game in which they went behind twice.

If you can take four or six points from the two games then it gives us a real fighting chance.

Max Power

But while the midfielder acknowledged the players need to dial-up the tempo, he admitted they will take points however they come.

“It wasn’t a great game to watch, or to be involved in,” he said.

“But at this stage of the season and the situation we are in, points are the most important thing.

“The performance wasn’t great on Saturday but at the end of the day we got the three points, so we will take that all day.

“We went to Newcastle and played well, we went to Ipswich and, aside from the mistakes, we played well, but we came away with nothing to show for it.”

Wigan host a Barnsley side who haven’t been defeated in the last three games, their last outing a comfortable 2-0 win away at North West strugglers Blackburn Rovers.

Power knows of the talent that the Tykes possess, having faced off against them numerous times in the past two seasons, with both teams coming up together from League One last year.

“They were a good side last year and they’ve taken that into this season,” Power explained.

“They’ve had a really good campaign and have some good players, but they know that we are fighting for our lives and with that they know they won’t get an easy game.

“Hopefully we can replicate what we did on Saturday and get a result.”

The fixture is the first of two over the Easter weekend for the Latics and they make the long trip to promotion-chasing Brighton & Hove Albion on Monday.

And Birkenhead-born Power is well aware of how crucial the next five days are if they want to play in the Championship next season.

“Easter is always an important period,” said Power.

“If you can take four or six points from the two games then it gives us a real fighting chance.”

Power also praised Nick Powell, who fired in the 96th minute winner against Rotherham after coming off the bench.

The former Manchester United maestro had been out of action for much of the season, and a recurring hamstring injury came back to haunt him in January.

But after notching just his second goal of the season, Power believes his team-mate has a big part to play in the remaining weeks of the campaign.

“He’s had his struggles with injury, but everyone knows how talented he is,” said Power.

“If you can keep him fit he is definitely a match-winner as you saw on Saturday.”