Crainey: We need to work to get in the play-offs

Stephen Crainey
Stephen Crainey

STEPHEN Crainey has won one and lost one at Wembley now and wants to return to the famous ground next month to restore his advantage.

The defender was part of the Blackpool side to claim victory in the Championship play-off final back in 2010 after a season where the Seasiders defied the odds.

He now wants to relive that memory with Latics on May 24 but says there is a lot of work to do before that can be achieved.

Crainey was man of the match in Wigan’s FA Cup exit at the hands of Arsenal on Saturday and his aim is now to get back to Wembley with Wigan in the play-off final and make it two victories out of three at the ground.

Latics have five games remaining of the Championship regular season and the Scot wants to rack up as many as possible, starting with Reading on Friday before Burnley next Monday.

“Wembley is a great arena to play on but we’ve got a lot of work to do to cement our place in the play-offs if we want to get back there,” admitted Crainey. “We’ve got two tough games now in the next week as we try to get in the play-offs and hopefully we can get as many points as we can to get that done.

“We have a lot of work to do now. The Arsenal game gives us a lot of motivation to get back to Wembley, there’s a lot of determination and character in that dressing room.”

The players have enjoyed a brief rest this week and will now hit the ground running for the Reading game.

One thing that Crainey says has inspired the players was the amazing support at Wembley on Saturday.

Despite being heavily outnumbered, the Latics fans in the east side of the ground didn’t stop getting behind the team and the squad want to repay that faith.

Crainey added: “The fans have been outstanding all season and if they keep giving us that backing until the end of the season, hopefully we can get back to Wembley for them.

“As much as we have disappointment from Arsenal, I thought the lads were outstanding so we recover from that and get the legs ready for Friday.

“Against a team like that you’re going to have to tide your luck, they’re a top four side in the Premier League, but we showed we were a match for them.

“As much as it’s heartbreaking, we have to forget about the semi-final and get back to Wembley in the play-offs. We’ve got a look to work to do that though first.

“The manager said he was proud of every one of us after the game and that we just need to concentrate as we can and hopefully get in the play-offs.

“Everybody wants to play against Premier League sides and we competed well against Arsenal and we want to be doing that week in week out next season but we have a lot of hard work to do that.”