Barry: Latics have to be on their guard
Wigan Athletic first team coach Anthony Barry has called on his players to be on their guard at Oxford this afternoon.
Paul Cook’s men travel to the Kassam Stadium looking to preserve their four-point cushion at the topof League One as the Christmas fixture pile-up kicks in.
But Barry is wary of the threat posed by Oxford, thanks to the way manager Pep Clotet has his men playing.
“It’s a tough test and it will be a tough game,” acknowledged Barry.
“Oxford are a good club and have a strong squad.
“The way Pep has put the team together down there – it’s a style of play we really respect.
“They’ll come after us and they are a big threat so it’s a big challenge for us.”
But Latics have grabbed all the headlines in League One so far as the season reaches its half-way point, and Barry sees their next block of fixtures – four games up to New Year’s Day – as a opportunity they need to be up for.
“We have a good block now, it’s an intense time for the lads,” he explained.
“We need to stay focused. In the Christmas period sometimes people can lack discipline.
“We need to stay consistent and keep doing what’s got us to where we are.
“We have a great group of lads.
“We trust them and they’ve got great habits. They work hard and they’re a good set.
“They’re great to coach on a personal level but as we said these next 15 days are a great test and let’s see how we come through them.
“We’re not even halfway there and there are still plenty of tough games to come.”