Stam and deliver

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RONNIE Stam insists the agony of dropping two priceless points against Blackburn last week will haunt Latics until they finally break their winless streak.

Latics came within seconds of a first win in 10 matches, only to be denied in controversial circumstances.

First, referee Andre Marriner failed to spot Morten Gamst Pedersen taking a corner-kick to himself for Rovers’ second goal, before the visitors made it 3-3 at the death thanks to a 98th-minute penalty.

Latics go in search of a first win in three months at Sunderland tomorrow, with Stam desperate to right the wrongs of last week.

“We’ve had to try to put it out of our heads this week and get on with our training sessions, and think only of Sunderland,” Stam told the Evening Post.

“It’s not easy to do, though.

“For some people, it’s gone in a day.

“For others, it can take a few days to properly get over the injustice of what happened.

“The last 10 seconds were the worst for me – it was just so, so disappointing.

“You could go over it and over it in your head, as we have done for the past few days, but it happened and we have to get on with it.

“The end result was we only got one point when we should have had three.”

The Stadium of Light encounter is being billed as another six-pointer, with the Black Cats also on a worrying run of form at present.

Steve Bruce’s side stand only two points above the drop-zone, but Stam rejects the notion there will be any added pressure on Latics to perform.

“Every game is massive for us - we hear that every week and it’s true,” he recognised.

“Whether it’s Sunderland on Saturday, or Arsenal the week after, or Manchester United next month, they are all big, big games for us.

“We know it won’t be easy at Sunderland, with it being an away game, but we are ready for it and it would be a great place to get that win we’ve been waiting so long for.

“Every game is different, but we need to build on what we did right against Blackburn and take it into the Sunderland game.

“We were all do disappointed we didn’t take the three points at the weekend, we certainly felt we deserved to”.

Of Blackburn’s controversial second goal, he reflected: “I have never seen that before in my life.

“The referee or the linesman should have seen it – that’s what they’re there for. But they didn’t and we have to pick up the pieces.”

Stam was recalled to the side for the Rovers game for only his second start of the season, and the Dutchman responded with a fine display that gave Latics extra danger down the right-hand side.

“I felt I did okay,” he acknowledged.

“I did what the manager wanted me to do and I hope he was pleased with my performance.

“My first priority is of course to defend, but I like to get forward as much as I possibly can and put some balls into the box, and help the team play some good football.

“That’s what I bring to the team and hopefully I’ll get the chance to do it again at Sunderland.”