Joyce: Show Toon no respect
Warren Joyce wants his Wigan Athletic side to show Championship leaders Newcastle no respect when the two sides lock horns at the DW Stadium on Wednesday night.
Latics will be looking for a first home point – and even a home goal – since the end of September against the high-flying Magpies.
But Joyce wants his players to take to the field as equals, despite taking on a team some onlookers have suggested is the best in Championship history.
“They’re a proper Premier League club, aren’t they, with a fanbase that would put them probably in the top eight,” the Latics boss acknowledged.
“But all we can do is approach the game exactly the same as we would any other.
“We could look at the host of problems they could give us, but there were certainly a host of problems Aston Villa could have given us at the weekend, and Derby the week before, so it’s no different in that respect.
“All we can do is be the best we can be.
“That’s my only concern. It’s respect – but also no respect.
“That’s the only way you can approach it.
“Respect them for what they are, but show them no respect in that we want to set out to stop them, and impose ourselves on them the best way we can.”
Latics go into the game on the back of a last-gasp defeat at Villa, after a real backs-to-the-wall performance.
It was a similar tale of woe to the previous weekend’s 1-0 home defeat to Derby, with Joyce feeling his side have deserved much better against high-profile opposition.
“I thought we gave a more-than-good account of ourselves in both games, and I think we deserved something,” he assessed.
“But that’s football, you’ve got to go again.
“The most important thing is we’ve shown during the last four games we can compete with teams who are actually flying in the league.
“Barnsley were on a good run, Huddersfield were up there, and then we’ve had financially two of the biggest hitters in the league in Derby and Aston Villa.
“It’s frustrating, because you hear the word ‘philosophy’ thrown around a lot in football, and I’ve kind of got a clear philosophy of how I want to play.
“In all of the clubs I’ve been at, we’ve been a team on the front foot, because you’ve had a bit of artillery, and a free-flowing style.
“It’s all right having a philosophy, but then there’s a reality check of looking at the strengths and weaknesses of the players you’ve got, and trying to play to their strengths.
“I think we’ve tried to do that here, and they’ve have shown they can be a match for big sides with their big hitters, they’ve been a credit to the club.
“We can’t stop doing these things.
“We’ve got to keep doing them, be even more resilient and even more competitive, while being a little bit better in and around the box.
“We’ve not quite managed to get a win doing those things.
“It’s just a little bit more quality in and around the box, the final set-up, the final effort on goal.
“That’s all that’s lacking.”