We must keep plugging away, says Al Habsi

ALI Al Habsi has called on Wigan Athletic to keep plugging away as they go in search of their first victory of the season against QPR on Saturday.

Latics have drawn both of their opening two fixtures, against newly-promoted Norwich and Swansea, despite creating enough chances to have picked up maximum points from each game.

Ben Watson hit the woodwork in the dying seconds against Norwich, while Jordi Gomez and Victor did likewise at Swansea – before Watson saw a late penalty saved by goalkeeper Michel Vorm.

And Al Habsi has been left to rue the fact that, with a better rub of the green, Latics could so easily have been topping the Premier League ladder going into this weekend’s action.

“We have been unlucky not to win both of our games, and we have to hope that luck will change sooner or later,” Al Habsi told the Evening Post.

“Saturday’s game is a massive game for us, even more so than it was already, and we must forget about what happened against Norwich and Swansea now and focus all of our attention on QPR.

“We must remember that we are only two games into the new season. This time last year we had no points and 10 goals against, so we are in a much better position even though we should have got more.”

Before the Swansea game, Latics would possibly have taken a point given the fact it was the Welsh side’s first-ever Premier League match on home soil.

And the Oman No.1 admits Wigan did well to keep their opponents at bay in the first half before taking control after the break.

“We showed a fantastic attitude at Swansea, and we will need to keep hold of that for the rest of the season,” Al Habsi added.

“It was never going to be easy to play away to Swansea in their first home game in the Premier League.

“We had to hang on at times but, once we got our passing going, I thought we played some fantastic stuff.

“We can take heart from the quality of football we played in that second half and, at the end of the day, a point away from home is never a bad thing.”

Al Habsi was also happy to keep a clean sheet after his blunder – a real collectors’ item – gifted Norwich their equaliser the previous week.

“The top priority for every goalkeeper is always to come away with a clean sheet – they are so important,” he added.

“I was even more determined to get one given what happened against Norwich last week.

“Mistakes are part and parcel of the game, and no-one is perfect, they can happen to anybody.

“Being in goal is not easy – I can promise you that.

“But I really felt I owed the team one, and I was glad to make up for it.

“It was nice to come back with a clean sheet – and my aim now is to make that two against QPR.”