Will Grigg is confident Wigan Athletic will ‘bounce back’ to their best in time for tonight’s top-of-the-table showdown at second-placed Burton.
Latics lost their proud 20-game unbeaten record at the weekend, the 3-1 defeat at Doncaster seeing their lead at the top cut to three points with four games to go.
But the in-form striker, who bagged his 24th goal of the season at the Keepmoat, feels tonight is the perfect opportunity to get back on the horse.
“We’ve got a great group here and we will bounce back,” Grigg told the Evening Post.
“It was our first defeat in 21 at the weekend, and that’s not a bad record. Much as we’re disappointed, we know we’re still a good team.
“It was a tough day at the office, but we’ll bounce back like we normally do. We’ve got four games to go and we’ll travel to Burton full of confidence.”
Latics will have to fill a huge gap in the engine room with David Perkins – their only ever-present in the league – suspended after his late red card at Doncaster.
“He’ll be a big miss, Perks has been brilliant for us,” acknowledged Grigg. “But we’ve said all season that we’ve got a massive squad full of quality, and we’ve got enough to cope.
“I’m sure he’ll still be in and around the squad. We like to keep everyone involved, even those not playing, and we’ll make sure he’s still part of it.”
A positive result would be the perfect birthday present for goalkeeper Jussi Jaaskelainen, who turns 41 today.
“He’s kept that quiet, and I don’t really blame him to be honest!” smiled Grigg. “When he’s double the age of some of the lads I’m not surprised he’s kept it under wraps!
“But seriously, he’s been quality, and it’s shows how professional he is that he’s still playing – and winning games for us – at his age.
“It’ll be a nice day for him, but I’m sure all he’ll want will be the three points.”
Boss Gary Caldwell admits he’s thought long and hard about who’ll replace Perkins – who he described as being ‘our driving force this season’ – and may not make up his mind until just before kick-off.
“We’ve discussed certain things, and we’ll look more at it today,” Caldwell revealed.
“But as I said to the whole squad, everyone is in contention to start.
“When you lose a game, it refocuses your mind and you think: ‘Maybe I have to rethink this a bit’. Everyone in the squad is up for selection and we have to pick the right team to go and win it.”
Chris McCann is favourite to step in for Perkins, while captain Craig Morgan could return in central defence.
Winger Ryan Colclough (knee) hopes to be passed fit.