Byrne expecting a hot streak from Latics
Nathan Byrne may have only been at Wigan Athletic for a matter of weeks
But he is already up to speed with the never-say-die spirit in the camp that he believes will underpin a swift ascent up the Championship table in the weeks to come.
The latest show of character came in midweek at Leeds, when the visitors rescued a fully-deserved point thanks to Shaun MacDonald’s stoppage-time leveller.
Having gone close to an equaliser on a number of occasions, Latics could have been forgiven for thinking it wasn’t their night.
But as Byrne - a deadline-day arrival from Championship rivals Wolves - is acutely aware, that is not in the DNA of his new club.
“We thought we controlled the first half, although they scored from a quick counter-attack which we’re disappointed with,” Byrne told the Evening Post.
“We didn’t feel we deserved to be 1-0 down based on how the first half had been and obviously it looks as if the game is getting away from you.
“But we’ve got a really good attitude in the camp, we all believe in each other.
“And I think the fans will have seen we are a group of players that don’t give up.
“We have a lot of fight in us, and we’re all determined as a team to try and climb the league table.
“That’s four games unbeaten now, and we’re definitely heading in the right direction.
“The challenge is to get those draws into wins, which would make all the difference.”
Not for the first time this season, Latics gave a decent account of themselves at Leeds - although once again found putting the ball in the back of the net frustratingly difficult.
“We’re not playing like a struggling team but, when you’re down there, those little things don’t drop for you,” Byrne acknowledged.
“We had four or five chances in the second half against Norwich last month, I hit the post late on against Preston, and Crackers (Michael Jacobs) has done the same at Leeds.
“But as you’ve seen, the boys don’t give up, and we know it will turn sooner or later.”
Hero of the hour on Tuesday was Wales international MacDonald, who couldn’t have picked a better time to open his goalscoring account for the club following his summer signing from Bournnemouth.
“He has got that in his locker to be fair,” recognised Byrne.
“Everyone knows what Macca’s about, all about technique and moving the ball around.
“You don’t usually see him that high up the pitch, but thankfully it’s gone in and we’re all happy.
“On another day that maybe hits the post and goes out, so hopefully that can prove to be the turning point for us.”
Byrne is still seeking his first goal in Latics colours although, judging by his encouraging performances in a number of positions, the wait surely won’t be for long.
“I do travel around the pitch a lot, but the gaffer’s given me the freedom to attack when I can which is great,” added the 24-year-old, who has already starred at right-back, right wing-back and right wing during his seven appearances.
“Hopefully the goals will come, that’s the plan anyway.
“I’m still trying to build up my fitness, but on a personal level I feel great.
“This is the right team for me, I know they try and play the right brand of football, and I’m enjoying the way we pass it around.
“I’ve settled in well, the boys have been great, and I’m loving it here.”