CHRIS McCann admits it’s the responsibility of every Wigan Athletic player to shoulder the burden for scoring goals – not just the strikers.
Only two Championship sides have scored fewer than Wigan’s tally of 21 goals from 21 matches – rock-bottom Blackpool and Saturday’s opponents Rotherham.
McCann himself has bagged twice in his last three outings since returning from long-term injury. And the 27-year-old acknowledges it’s an area of his game he wants to improve on.
“Last season I played quite a bit and I think I only managed three goals,” he told the Evening Post. “I like to score a few more than that, and I’m nearly there after only three games.
“The gaffer said to me I seem to have a knack of getting on the end of things, and he’s encouraging me to get into the box which suits me.
“Having been out for so long, to hit the ground running and scoring goals is something I’m looking to keep going.
“Every goal from midfield is obviously helping the strikers out, and if we can all chip in with a few more that would be great.”
Both of McCann’s goals have been bullet headers from James McClean corners – at Watford on Saturday and a fortnight before at Sheffield Wednesday.
“He’s got great delivery from set-pieces and we seem to have a little understanding going there,” McCann recognised.
“It’s easy when the ball is put on a plate, you don’t have to do a lot with it to score. He consistently puts balls into good areas, and when you have that it makes our jobs easier.
“It’s not something we work a great deal on at the training ground, but I’m delighted the way things are going.”
McCann also backed boss Malky Mackay’s assertion that McClean – who has spent all of his career up to this point on the left wing – has the ability to reinvent himself as a central striker.
“James is a strong lad even though there’s not much of him,” McCann added.
“He’s got as great leap, which you need to play against big defenders, and he’s been winning his fair share of headers.
“He’s also got pace to burn, which allows you to put the ball in behind, and in the second half at Watford they were dropping deeper and deeper, they were so scared of him.
“He runs the channels and holds it up well and has got a bit of everything.”