Latics guest player column - Callum Elder

Callum Elder
Callum Elder
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It was good to get the job done against Fylde in midweek and get through to the third round of the FA Cup.

Replays are never easy to negotiate, and teams like Fylde will always be up for the challenge coming here.

We knew we had the quality we had to get through, and thankfully Griggy came up with two goals at the end.

It’s always great to have someone like him in the side, because you know he’s going to get you goals.

But even with Ivan Toney, who started the game, we know he’s got goals in him as well.

We just need to get the service in to guys like that because we know they’ll find the back of the net.

Thankfully I managed to find Ivan with a cross in the first half and he did the rest, and it was great to get the early lead.

We knew we’d have a lot of the ball, we just needed to make sure we were persistent in our play and make the chances count.

It was a sickener to concede the goals either side of half-time, but we had to dig deep and thankfully we were able to do that.

As a full back, in the way the gaffer wants to play, he’s always on at us to get forward and get loads of deliveries into the box – with quality as well.

I was delighted to carve something out for myself, and find Ivan in space at the back post for the opening goal against Fylde.

After the Bradford game, I felt massively disappointed not to be given the chance to help the side to get back to winning ways against Doncaster.

I know I need to keep working hard in training, because the team has been doing well and Reece (James) has been doing well in my position.

But that competition for places is key for us moving forward, because we need to keep pushing ourselves on to even greater heights.

We’re at the top of the table for a reason – we’ve worked extremely hard to get there.

But only maintaining that hard work and quality will keep us there.

Hard work got us through the Fylde game the other night.

At 2-1 down, people may have thought: ‘Gee, are they going to find an answer?’

Well, we always seem to find a way to find that answer at the moment, and it’s a nice habit to be in.

Even with 10 minutes to go, I wasn’t worried we were going to lose the game.

We still had the majority of the ball, it was just a question of whether we could create another chance or two.

It’s so hard when a team comes and just sits in, and you have to break down 10 players, as opposed to only six or seven.

We had to be patient, we needed the quality to break them down, and we eventually got there.

It’s a long trip to Wimbledon for us this weekend, and that’ll be another big test for us.

We know Wigan are seen as a scalp in this division, and we know they’ll set up to first and foremost keep a clean sheet.

Ultimately we need to find a way to break down teams like that, score goals and win games.

Sometimes that’s been difficult, and occasionally we’ve not managed to get the job done.

But all we can do is stick to what we’re doing in training, what the gaffer is trying to implement here, and come May hopefully we’ll get the job done.

My dad is over from Australia for Christmas, so that’s obviously a big thing for me.

I’ve not seen him for a year, and I can’t wait to see him – and for him to cook for me!

The weather’s not been great over here, but he’s originally from Scotland – an Edinburgh lad – so he won’t be too bothered by a bit of cold.

It is hard maintaining close contact, because of the time difference, but we manage via text and facetiming, those are the two forms we use.

My family are a big part of my life, they support me all the way even from so far away, and I speak to them as much as I can.

My dad may be Scottish, but he’s been in Australia long enough to become an Australian cricket fan, so we’ll be enjoying the Ashes while he’s over here!

We’ve obviously had a good start to the series, and I’ve been enjoying discussing it with Peter Reid, who’s a big cricket fan.

I’ll be getting stuck right into him if and when it gets to 3-0! But at the same time I’m determined to stay focused on my football.

We’ve got some big games coming up and I want to get back into the side and play my part.

I’m really enjoying my time at Wigan, and it’s up to me now to force my way into the side and stay there.

There’s a lot of games coming up over Christmas, and we know the whole squad will be needed to get us through.

Callum Elder was speaking to Paul Kendrick