Lee Evans admits Wigan Athletic’s players owe their loyal travelling fans a performance and a result at Norwich this afternoon.
Despite a brilliant start to the campaign that sees Latics lie in fifth place after nine matches, it’s been the home form that’s been carrying them so far.
Paul Cook’s men have picked up an impressive 13 points from a possible 15 at the DW Stadium, with only Nottingham Forest – thanks to a stoppage-time penalty – managing to avoid defeat.
On the road, however, it’s been a different story, with only one win – a 3-0 triumph at Stoke – and three defeats from their four games.
And Evans acknowledges it’s a situation that needs addressing ahead of the trip to Carrow Road.
“I think we owe our travelling fans a performance to be honest,” Evans told the Wigan Post.
“Barring Stoke, I don’t think we’ve given them much to cheer about so far.
“That’s at the forefront of most of our minds – to be able to send them home happy, to reward them for their backing.
“Three points would be the perfect way to do that, and hopefully we can come away with the result.
“At Brentford, especially, we didn’t apply ourselves at all, and we’ll have that in our minds as we take to the field.”
That said, a play-off berth after a fifth of the league programme is something Evans and Latics would happily have settled for in pre-season.
“Because of the position we are in the league, we’re obviously delighted,” the Welshman admitted.
“And the mood in the camp has been like this ever since I walked back in the door last month.
“Nothing had changed since I was here on loan last season, everyone’s in it together, buying into what the manager and his staff want.
“We’re all on one page, and the results have shown it’s exactly like that.
“But it’s just the start, and we have to keep our feet on the ground.
“We’ve done well over the first nine games, but the challenge is to continue that for the next nine games, and beyond.
“Yes it’s early days, but we deserve to be where we are - and there’s even more to come from us I feel.
“Over the next few weeks the league starts to take shape, and if we can stay there or thereabouts we’ll be delighted.”
Evans has settled back into life at Wigan after spending the second half of last term on loan with Sheffield United, who also managed to surprise a few people by remaining in the Championship play-off picture until the home straight.
“I remember the manager there saying this division wasn’t all it was cracked up to be,” Evans revealed.
“Yes there’s some big names players and clubs, but if you can stamp your authority and get among them, there’s no reason why you can’t do well.
“As well as Sheffield United, there were other teams like Preston who were knocking on the door, and that’s a motivating factor for us this year.”
Not that Latics will have it their own way against a Norwich side who were themselves in the top flight not too long ago, and who have aspirations of getting back there before too long.
“It’ll be a tough game at Norwich, a former Premier League team, and we’ll have to be at our best,” Evans added.
“We’ve watched clips of them, we know they try to work the ball out from the back, and we’ll have to adapt accordingly.”