McCarthy - We’ve found our goal touch

Wigan's Antolin Alcaraz celebrates his goal
Wigan's Antolin Alcaraz celebrates his goal

JAMES McCarthy reckons Wigan Athletic have rediscovered their goal touch at the perfect point in the campaign.

Saturday’s 2-0 victory against Stoke gave Latics back-to-back wins for the first time this term, and takes them up to 28 points from their 31 matches.

They remain in 19th spot in the Premier League table, but with a real chance of pulling off another ‘Great Escape’.

Not for the first time this term, Latics completely dominated in terms of possession and territory.

But goals from Antolin Alcaraz and Victor Moses ensured their fine performance was, for once, reflected on the scoreboard.

“That’s five goals from the last three games and, to be honest, it’s about time too,” McCarthy told the Evening Post.

“We’ve played well in recent weeks but just not managed to apply the finishing touch and get over the line.

“But thankfully Antolin came up trumps with the vital opening goal, Victor managed to finish them off and hopefully we can kick on now.”

The scenes at the final whistle were reminiscent of the tail end of last term, when Latics saved their best form for when it mattered the most.

But with games against Chelsea, Manchester United and Arsenal coming up over the next three weeks, McCarthy is keeping his feet firmly planted on the ground.

“It’s massive to get back-to-back results, but we can’t afford to get carried away,” he added. “The next three games will be tough, but we proved at Anfield that we can go away to the really big teams and come away with a result.

“Sure we’ve got some big games coming up, but we can go into them with confidence.

“If we can stick together as a team and as a club, we’ll be fine.”

Ali Al Habsi hardly touched the ball during the 90 minutes such was Wigan’s almost-total control, with Tony Pulis admitting his Stoke side were second best by a distance.

“Stoke were a very physical team who showed last week against Manchester City that they can play a bit, but we were good value for the win,” McCarthy acknowledged.

“And the crowd were different class again, and hopefully they can get behind us in their numbers over the next seven weeks because we’ll them to be there for us.”