Wigan Athletic's Nathan Byrne expecting Ipswich to ramp-up the tempo

Nathan Byrne
Nathan Byrne

Nathan Byrne is expecting fireworks at the DW Stadium on Saturday when Ipswich come in search of points.

The Tractor Boys are in need to add to their tally to rescue what looks like a desperate situation at the bottom of the Championship, while Paul Cook’s Latics are looking to edge away from being dragged into a relegation scrap.

But Byrne thinks that will result in a frantic battle rather than an arm wrestle on Saturday.

“We back ourselves against anyone at home and we know it’s a massive game which we need to win.

That’s what we’re trying to do,” he said.

“I think, especially when you’re down there you’re desperate in every game to get a result, get a point, three points so I think there’s no great time to play them.

“We need it just as much as they do so I’m sure it will be a competitive and fast-paced game.”

Saturday is Latics’ first game back from a mid-season training camp in Dubai which included a 4-3 friendly win over Chinese champions Shanghai.

And Byrne thinks the trip was well-timed as players prepare for an important run of games in their bid to stay up.

“It’s a positive to go away in the sun and play a game out there,” said Byrne.

“It doesn’t mean anything but we got a win but we’ve been able to carry it on into the week.

“The boys are refreshed and ready to go.”

Despite the friendly status of last weekend’s game, Byrne said facing a side with quality players has provided a boost.

“It’s good training out there so the boys are in good spirits and looking forward,” he said.

“Playing against good players like that – they have some great players who are international footballers so it was a good test for us.

“The boys are in good spirits. We have been all season even when we went through a bit of a blip over the winter period and we weren’t picking up results.”

And the former Wolves winger is confident they will avoid the drop back to League One.

He said: “The boys were still positive and we believe this squad’s good enough to win and get up the table.”