BEN Watson is adamant Wigan Athletic are only fine margins away from dishing out ‘a beating’ to an unsuspecting Championship opponent.
Latics have picked up only one point from a possible six since new boss Malky Mackay took charge last month.
But that total could have been far more – possibly even all six – given the nature of the Latics performances.
Middlesbrough were fortunate to escape from the DW with a draw a fortnight ago.
And it was the same story again last weekend at Sheffield Wednesday, when Latics squandered a number of gilt-edged opportunity as well as switching off at the back in a 2-1 defeat.
That means the pressure is well and truly on ahead of tomorrow’s visit of Norwich City, but Watson insists Latics have it in them to finally kickstart their campaign.
“We say it all the time, but there’s no easy games in the Championship,” he told the Evening Post.
“You know what you’re going to get, every team is giving 100 per cent and you’ve got to match that first and foremost.
“But we’ve got to pick ourselves up, keep going, keep believing. We’ve got a talented group here and we shouldn’t be in the position we are.
“We are, though, but sooner or later a team’s going to be on the receiving end of a beating. That’s for sure.”
Watson is hoping to retain his place in the midfield after making his first start for over nine months last weekend at Hillsborough following injury.
“It’s great to be back, although obviously the result was disappointing,” he acknowledged. “It’s a game we probably shouldn’t have lost, but we need to defend better as a team.
“It’s one of those things at the minute - we’re performing okay, and we should be winning games, but we’re not.”
Shaun Maloney should also feature tomorrow after missing last week’s trip to South Yorkshire with illness.
And having been in irrepressible form in recent weeks, Maloney’s return will be a massive boost for a Latics side who have only won once since the end of August.
“Shaun was back to his old best against Middlesbrough - I don’t think I’ve seen him play that well for Wigan for a good year,” Watson added.
“That’s the Shaun Maloney we all know, and if he’s performing like that we’ll win more games than we lose.”
Dave Whelan was last night granted an extension by the FA to the date by which he had to reply to his misconduct charge.