Grigg cranks up the pressure

Will Grigg
Will Grigg

WILL Grigg is targeting three precious points for Wigan Athletic against Port Vale tomorrow afternoon – to crank up the pressure on the League One leaders.

Latics entertain the Valiants looking to avenge a narrow defeat by the odd goal in five in the corresponding fixture at Vale Park in September.

Since then, Latics have lost only twice in 21 league matches, to climb to fourth in the table.

And with some of their promotion rivals showing signs of weariness of late, Grigg says Latics must take advantage of any further slips.

“We’re playing some good stuff, scoring a lot of goals, and that bodes well,” Grigg told the Evening Post.

“Some of the teams around us are stuttering a bit, and the teams above us will be looking over their shoulders if we can keep our form up.

“There’s a lot of pressure around at the moment.

“People are already looking to the end of the season – it’s not too far off – but there’s a lot of points to be played for before then.

“Most of the teams around us don’t have as big a squad as we do, and this is definitely an area of the season where we should be able to benefit.”

Latics will be favourites to pick up three points against a Vale side who remain in mid-table despite a decent run of late.

But Grigg knows Latics can take nothing for granted after being held 1-1 at rock-bottom Crewe in their last outing.

“They’ll give us another tough game, we know that,” the Northern Ireland international admitted. “But we’ll be right up for it.

“Our place is not an easy place for an away team to come to, and we need to hammer home that advantage.

“We’ve had our blip at the DW, and the amount of goals we’ve scored in the last few home games is definitely going to scare teams.”

Grigg is champing at the bit for a start having overcome a slight hip injury.

The problem ruled him out of the win over Chesterfield, although he was able to come off the bench last weekend at Gresty Road.

“It was just a niggling injury, but Saturday came a little bit too soon for me to start,” he revealed.

“It was good to get 20 minutes at the end, and I felt fine, back in the swing.

“I got a few touches early doors after coming on, but unfortunately none of the chances at the end fell to me.

“We had a few shots that, if the goalkeeper had spilled, I would have been ready for a rebound.

“But unfortunately he kept hold of them and it wasn’t to be.

“It’s just annoying because, after the Gillingham and Sheffield United games, I was getting back in to some form.

“I only missed a week, though, and I’m feeling the best I have in ages to be honest.”

Grigg is hoping to win promotion to the Championship for the third season in a row.

Last term, on loan at MK Dons from Brentford, he hit the magical 20-goal figure as Karl Robinson’s men pipped Preston North End to the second automatic spot on the final day.

The previous year, he’d also helped the Griffin Park outfit to escape the third tier.

Grigg turned down interest from Championship clubs to join Latics last summer, and says the pre-season targets set by both him and the team are still well within reach.

“I know that for us to win promotion I’m going to have to score a few more goals,” he added.

“But I feel I’m more than capable of doing that, as I’ve shown over the past few years.

“As a squad, we’re not getting excited or nervous.

“We’re just fully focused on the task ahead.”