MARTYN Waghorn insists he never lost faith in his ability after ending a six-month barren spell with a golden goal that earned Wigan Athletic a precious point against Bolton.
The 25-year-old only appeared off the bench with 12 minutes to go, and Latics in desperate need of something to prevent a fifth home defeat in a row without scoring.
One minute we’re nine points and out of it, the next it’s five points and we’re in with a right chance with some good games coming upMartyn Waghorn
And in the fourth added minute, Waghorn popped up with an overhead kick to ensure Latics cut the deficit to fourth-placed Rotherham to just five points with seven to play.
Having not even made the bench in midweek against Watford, Waghorn sent a strong message to boss Malky Mackay that he could be the man to solve the club’s goalscoring problems.
“It was nice to get on and obviously get the equaliser,” Waghorn said.
“It was a good finish and I’m glad I could contribute and make an impact from the bench.
“I believe in myself, I back my own ability and I’ll always work hard for the team and do my bit as best I can.
“I just went in there, did the basics and if a chance comes then be in there to take it.
“Thankfully it went in, and if you keep training and working hard the chances come to you.
“Luckily, today it’s been one of those days.”
It was Waghorn’s forst goal since the home defeat to Ipswich in September, and he admits the last six months - including a shoulder problem that sidelined him for two months - have been difficult.
“You’ve just got to believe in yourself, work hard, do things right on the training pitch,” the former England Under-21s man acknowledged.
“And when your turn comes, be ready to take your chance when you can.
“It’s a good set of lads, good competition and I’m enjoying being part of that group of lads.
“You just have to believe in yourself, and when the time comes hopefully make the most of it.”
After staring down the barrels of a potential nine-point gap to safety, Latics are now only five points behind Rotherham and everything to play for.
“That just sums this league up,” Waghorn added. “It’s so hit and miss.
“One minute we’re nine points and out of it, the next it’s five points and we’re in with a right chance with some good games coming up.
“We’ve got to mentally get ourselves in the right frame of mind for this run now.
“It’s a good time now to recharge, work hard and plan hard for the run-in.
“Two wins and we’re out of it. It’s been a good and bad day – we felt we should have the three points but we didn’t get beat and closed it by a point.”