Dan Burn says it’s up to Latics’ defence to lay the platform for their strike force to fire them back into the Championship.
The towering defender will be looking to help his side try to reclaim top spot in League One as they take on Blackpool after Tuesday’s frustrating 1-1 draw at strugglers Gillingham.
But with the fewest goals conceded in the division, having let in just eight goals in their 14 league matches, Burn is hoping the close-knit back four can keep their status as a watertight defence.
“I always said I think the back four should always be pretty similar because of the relationships you get with each other as a defence,” he said.
“We got quite a few clean sheets last season even though we went down, and we want to at least repeat that this season.
“It gives a platform for our forward lads who are very, very good.”
One player at the front who has been grabbing headlines this season is Nick Powell.
The 23-year-old has scored seven goals so far this term as he looks to put last season’s injury woes behind him.
And Burn is a member of the Powell fan club, admitting he’s perhaps too good a player to stay in League One.
“Powelly is class,” he said.
“Everybody knows he’s way above this level, if he can stay fit. But if Powelly can stay fit, the sky’s the limit for him.
“He can play at whatever level he wants.”
And while Powell didn’t get on the scoresheet on Tuesday – Latics needed rescuing by captain Sam Morsy at the Priestfield Stadium – Burn doesn’t expect the midfielder’s name to be absent from the scoresheet for long. Having to face the ex-Manchester United man in training is enough for Burn.
“It’s frustrating with Powelly,” he admitted.
“You think you’re going to tackle him, but the way he moves, he just glides and moves his body really well.”
And while Burn is calling for Wigan’s defenders to maintain their uncompromising stance, he doesn’t think there are issues to address with team discipline.
Latics have been shown four red cards so far this season, but Burn thinks the side’s more experienced stars have to lead by example.
“I don’t think it’s a lack of discipline,” he said.
“It’s just that I think that sometimes they’re not used to some of the challenges we’re getting. It’s just a lack of maturity a little bit.
“I’m sure that it’s a learning curve and the experienced lads have got to tell them what they’re doing.”