Dan Burn admits Wigan Athletic’s players have been counting down the seconds for this weekend’s visit of Gillingham – to keep their promotion challengers at bay.
It’s been a fortnight since Latics were last in league combat, with completing the scoring in the 3-1 victory at Plymouth.
While Burn and his colleagues were on FA Cup duty last weekend, causing their scheduled league game against Oxford to be postponed, they were also without a game in midweek when the trip to Rochdale was postponed.
That fortnight ‘off’ has allowed Shrewsbury and Blackburn to close the gap at the top, and Burn just wants the chance to get back out there and pick up some points.
“It’s another big game for us against Gillingham, and it seems a while since we last played in the league,” acknowledged Burn.
“We’ve got a few games in hand now, but I’d prefer to get out there and play the fixtures, get the points on the board.
“You try not to look at what the teams around you are doing, but it is hard not to pay attention, because it does affect you.
“Blackburn and Shrewsbury are on good runs, they’re not going away, so all we can do is make sure we maintain our own form.
“The gaffer is always going on about keeping going, not worrying about anything else, and that’s what we’re all determined to do.”
In-form Gillingham will travel north in good spirits having risen from relegation possibles to the fringe of the play-off picture.
But if Latics can pick up where they left off against West Ham in the FA Cup last weekend, they will fancy their chances of another three points.
“Obviously West Ham was a great result and a great day for the fans,” enthused Burn.
“From start to finish, we were different class.
“Right from the minute the draw was made, we were all fully confident we could do it.
“We respected West Ham, as a Premier League team, but we’re a team full of confidence.
“We can do some real damage when we play well, and I think that’s the best performance – certainly in the first half – we’ve had this year.
“Confidence is so important in this game, and we’re all buzzing after beating two Premier League teams in the cup.
“I know some people will think a cup run will act as a distraction to what we’re doing in the league, which is obviously the priority.
“But at the same time, winning games is a great habit to be in, and if we can stay fit then it can only help us achieve our objectives.”