ANDREW Taylor reckons Wigan Athletic’s shoring up at the back has been a crucial factor in their recent resurgence.
Latics signed off for the international break with back-to-back victories over Blackpool and Birmingham.
As well as the side rediscovering their collective shooting boots, the defence also chipped in with successive shut-outs – their first of the campaign.
And Taylor reckons the importance of shutting out the opposition cannot be underestimated in such a competitive Championship.
“It’s important to keep clean sheets – obviously it gives you a better chance of winning a game,” Taylor told the Evening Post.
“You don’t want to be conceding all the time and being under pressure to have to break down teams to get back into the game.
“Back-to-back clean sheets is great for the defence, and now we’re adding goals it’s good all round.”
Taylor opened his goalscoring account for Latics against Birmingham, with a lovely left-foot strike.
The 28-year-old has nailed down the left-back berth since arriving from Cardiff in June, and says his move back north couldn’t have gone any smoother.
“It’s going really well, we’ve settled in to the area very well,” added the ex-Middlesbrough junior.
“The squad, all the lads and the manager have all made us feel welcome.
“I missed a lot of football at the back end of last season, so it’s been a case of trying to get that 90-minute fitness back. Now I’m getting back to where I want to be and hopefully I can kick on.”
The Latics squad is almost back up to its full complement after the international break.
Emmerson Boyce has been a busy man over the last week, playing three times – and even netting once – as Barbados advanced to the final qualifying round of the Caribbean Cup, where they’ll face St Kitts and Nevis, Haiti and Marc-Antoine Fortune’s French Guiana.
William Kvist played over three-quarters of Denmark’s 2-1 win over Armenia, while Shaun Maloney came on as a late substitute as Scotland lost 2-1 in Germany.
The final member of Wigan’s international contingent, Emyr Huws, should be back tomorrow after Wales’ Euro 2016 opener in Andorra tonight.