Rosler confident of goal rush

Uwe Rosler (left) watching Latics v Bolton - his first home match in charge
Uwe Rosler (left) watching Latics v Bolton - his first home match in charge
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UWE Rosler is confident he has the answer to Wigan Athletic’s goalscoring problems this term.

And he hopes to make Sheffield Wednesday feel the full force at Hillsborough tonight.

Latics travel to South Yorkshire full of confidence after the morale-boosting 3-2 derby-day victory over Bolton at the weekend.

The win ended a sequence of six straight defeats that had seen them eliminated from the Europa League as well as slip down the Championship table.

Part of the problem has been lack of goals, with Latics having only mustered 19 in 18 league games prior to Rosler’s arrival at the DW.

But the new Latics boss is predicting goal-den times ahead for his side as they head into the festive period.

“We scored one goal at Maribor and we should have had more, and although we scored three against Bolton we could have also had more,” Roseler recognised.

“You can see already that we are improving in that area.

“There is still a long way top go, because when you want to be a top team and you want to win promotion, you have to score goals.

“Goals make the difference and there is much room for improvement in our offensive play.”

He also insists the lack of goals this season is not just a striking issue.

“It’s an important part of the philosophy that the goals should come from all angles,” the German explained.

“The way our system is set up depends on midfielders attacking the box, they have to make an impact in terms of making and scoring goals.

“That willingness to get runners and numbers into the box will take the pressure off the strikers.

“As a defender, when you only have one or two attackers to deal with, it’s very easy to take them out.

“When there are four or more, it is not so easy.

“With the emphasis on that, I am confident we will score more goals in the future.

Tonight’s game is the first of six games in just 17 days including the FA Cup visit of MK Dons on January 4.

It’s a block of games that could go a long way towards shaping the rest of the campaign.

Rosler, though, is not getting ahead of himself.

“You can only deal with the next two games ahead - not look six games down the line,” he added.

“You have to utilise the squad, that is what football is all about.

“Football is a squad game these days - the days of players being guaranteed a start from the first to the last day of the season are long gone.

“The physical demands on a modern footballer are higher, the games are played at a much higher tempo.

“It’s the reason why clubs need bigger and bigger squads and it gives players the opportunity to show what they can do on a more regular basis.

“If any of my players come in to the team and play well, they will get all the support possible from me.”

Wednesday remain in the relegation zone despite picking up following the departure of Dave Jones.

In temporary charge of the Owls is Stuart Gray, who was Rosler’s boss for a short period at Southampton over a decade ago.

“They have picked up their form in recent weeks,” acknowledged Rosler.

“I was reading a lot at the start of the season that they had played well but they couldn’t score goals.

“In recent weeks they have started to put that right, they have found some momentum and they have beaten some top teams.

“We have to be up for a big fight, we all know what Sheffield Wednesday are all about.

“We need to be ready for their long balls, their ability to win headers and their crosses from wide areas.

“But more than that, we must focus on how we want to play, and how we can get at them.

“It’s a big pitch so it will give us the opportunity of getting the ball down and playing our football.”