Latics guest player column - Jake Buxton
We can't fault the effort or willingness to win the game from any of us on Wednesday night against Newcastle.
I just maybe feel we were doing too much running at times in the wrong areas – especially the midfielders and the wide lads.
They’re maybe being too honest and too quick to try to get back and help us back lads out.
Perhaps they need to be a bit more selfish and try to save their legs for going forward, and affect the game the other way.
In the first-half against Newcastle, I felt Michael (Jacobs) in particular was getting the better of his full-back, and that was because he had the energy and the legs to get beyond him.
But as the game went on, and given the amount of running he was doing the other way, doubling up and helping out, he didn’t seem to be able to go past people late on when we needed something a little bit special to score against a top side.
We’re obviously very disappointed to concede the goals in the manner we did against Newcastle.
We’ve been solid right from the start of the season and, as I’ve pointed out here before, that’s probably testament to the lads in front who have helped us out.
But given the lack of goals in recent weeks, it’s obvious something has to give.
That could be freeing up the midfield and the wide men to play a little bit higher up the park.
No-one can fault what they’re doing for the team, it’s great.
But we also need to start scoring goals, and if we can do that, I think we’ve got it in us to hold out the opposition.
Obviously we conceded a wonder-goal at Aston Villa last weekend, and that was hard to take, as were the two poor goals we shipped in midweek.
But I do believe that if we can start scoring goals, we’re capable of holding out at the back.
Next up for us is Ipswich and, given the position we find ourselves, these are the games we need to be capitalising on.
You’re always looking to beat the teams around you in the table.
I’m not saying Wednesday night was a ‘free shot’, because you always want to try and win every single game.
But the other results had mostly gone in our favour on Tuesday night, and it would have been great had we taken advantage with something against Newcastle.
Saturday, at home, is a game we have to be winning, because you have to be beating the sides around you if you want to stay in the division.
They’ll have a go at us, Ipswich, we know that.
Mick McCarthy’s sides do try and play football to a certain degree, but their games are generally won in both boxes.
We know we’re in for a real fight. We’ve got to have a go and impose our game on them, and try to score goals.
Being at home, we maybe have to take the catch off a little bit, and look to try and be a bit more positive.
We’ve got to try and find a method of winning the game - that’s what it’s all about.
And we’re working very, very hard on the training ground to do that.
We’ve just got to make sure that the final ball matches the effort of the boys, and that the running we do is in the right areas of the pitch that will damage the opposition.
Let’s not get deluded, we’re in a position in the league that we’re going to be in around for a period of time.
The fans have been great with us all season – both at home and away – and we’re going to need them if we are to drag ourselves up the table.
They really do make a difference with their chanting and their urging us on, and I assure you that everyone in the dressing room is desperate to do well for them.
There’s nobody shying away from the task we’ve got.
We’d be very grateful if the fans could stick with us through this difficult period.