WIGAN Athletic are back at the DW Stadium this weekend when Fleetwood are the visitors - and Rich O’Donnell couldn’t be happier about being back on home soil.
Latics are looking to extend an impressive run of results at the DW, which has seen them pick up seven points out of nine without a goal conceded.
That’s in stark contrast to their form on the road, where they’ve gone two goals down in all four matches, the come-from-behind win at Chesterfield being the only shining light.
“The away form’s been disappointing in terms of the results and the amount of goals we’ve been conceding,” O’Donnell told the Evening Post.
“And I can’t really put my finger on why that’s been the case.
“Obviously it’s different playing away from home rather than at home. But we try and approach the games the same wherever we play – and try and play the kind of football we want to play, and win the game.
“For whatever reason, it’s not quite clicked away from home so far. We’ve won one game and lost three so far, and that’s an area of improvement we’re looking to make as soon as possible.”
On the flip side, O’Donnell and his defence are determined to maintain their water-tight record at the DW.
“It seems a long time since we last played at home, it’ll be three weeks when we take to the field against Fleetwood,” the big goalkeeper acknowledged.
“It’s important to keep that home form going, and that’s what we’ll be looking to do on Saturday.
“It’s an added bonus for myself and everyone else that we’ve not been conceding goals. If you’re keeping clean sheets in a game then there’s a good chance you’ll go on and win it.
“Obviously clean sheets are the priority for goalkeepers, and it’s nice to have three out of three so far.
“We’ve won the last two games at home, and that’s something we’re looking to continue this weekend.”
Not that it will be easy, with Latics being the ‘big boys’ in League One and up there to be shot at.
“People obviously come to our ground, it’s a great stadium in this league, and you’d expect them to come out firing because of the surroundings,” O’Donnell recognised.
“We’ve done really well to start so strongly, and throughout the season that’s going to be important.”
O’Donnell was the second summer signing for boss Gary Caldwell, one of 17 new recruits that are – slowly but surely – finding their collective feet.
“I’m really enjoying it so far,” he admitted. “I’ve played every game and hopefully I can keep that going. Obviously the more games you play with players, the greater the understanding you’ll get.
“And I think generally we’ve been all right defensively.
“We’re conceding too many goals away from home, but we’ve been speaking about it and it’s not like we’ve felt particularly threatened.
“It’s certain things we can do better ourselves, rather than teams carving us apart.
“It’s something we can work on, but generally I feel we’re looking pretty good.
“The good thing is that we’re managing to score a few goals, and if we can tighten up at the back it should be good.”