UWE Rosler has challenged every single one of his players to ‘stand up and be counted’ as Wigan Athletic look to return to winning ways at Bournemouth tomorrow.
Latics travel south having picked up only one point from their last three matches - the latest being a 2-1 home defeat to Ipswich - to slip to 17th spot in the Championship.
And the German knows they’ll need a big improvement across the board if they are to pick off the Cherries on home soil.
“The longer you’re not winning, the more nervous you get,” Rosler acknowledged.
“I thought we only started to play against Ipswich when the game was more or less lost.
“That is a typical reaction of a team that is not on their level, mentally or confidence-wise.
“When things are getting tough, we have to stand up and be counted.
“We have to find the character we have in the squad and bring that to every single game.
“We have nothing more to throw away or give away- we have to play football as if it’s life or death.
“At the moment we’re not playing with that sort of intensity or consistency and, if we are to achieve something this season, we have to realise that is the way we have to be.
“We all care about the situation, but we have to care even more about this.
“It’s just not acceptable that we only have eight points at this stage of the season.
“The only way we can change that is by winning football matches.”
With several senior players such as James McArthur, Jordi Gomez and Jean Beausejour having moved on since the end of last term, Rosler has also called on some of his new guard to take responsibility for turning things around.
He also hinted there may be one or two surprising team changes for the clash on the south coast.
“I’ve said to my players, even those who haven’t been involved or been on the bench, there will come a time when you will be asked to play,” the Latics chief said.
“And don’t be surprised if one or two players who have not played much for us in the last weeks maybe will start on Saturday.
“In that moment in time it’s about getting that result, coping with the pressure, and ensuring confidence in those sort of situations that we’re in now.”
Rosler pointed to new-boy Adam Forshaw as a shining example of a young player who has come in to the fold and, despite only making his debut on Monday night, seized the initiative from the off.
“Adam does not have that match fitness like I know he can,” added Rosler. “He’s only played 60 minutes since last May and he had an operation.
“But what he has shown is that desire, and that willingness to get on the ball even when things are going against him.
“He turned it around during the 90 minutes against Ipswich, and then it became a very positive frame of mind. That was a good example.
“It’s very easy to not ask for the ball, to hide a little bit, and our game will not flow. Players can mistakes - it’s no problem, as long as they’re trying.
“They are trying, but for me bravery is also to get on the ball. Competing is not always kicking people down, it’s also bravery to get on the ball in tight areas. I think that’s important that we’re showing that bravery.”
Callum McManaman will undergo a fitness test before the Wigan squad departs for Bournemouth after picking up a dead leg against Ipswich.
Emyr Huws is also hoping to travel after an ankle problem kept him out of the Ipswich game.