Leam Richardson's message to 4,000 Wiganers this weekend
“Enjoy yourselves and sing as loud as you can!”
That’s Leam Richardson’s message to the 4,000 Wigan Athletic fans with a ticket for the big derby at Bolton this weekend.
Latics are aiming to go back to the top of League One with victory in Horwich, and Richardson – a former Bolton player – admits the fans have a big part to play on the day.
“It’s great to have the fans back, and to have them back in such numbers in the derby, it’s even better,” he acknowledged.
“We’re all looking forward to it. It’s a game that certainly comes with a bit more attached, being a derby game.
“I know our fans will be there in good voice and will represent themselves very well, as I’m sure the Bolton fans will for their side.”
Latics already have one victory over the Trotters this term, a penalty shoot-out victory in the Carabao Cup back in August.
Richardson, though, isn’t reading much into that.
“I’m not so sure about that,” he said. “It’s obviously nice to have fallen on the right side of the result in the cup, and you do get small insights into the opposition.
“But this is a different game, albeit a local derby, and it’s about trying to maintain the standards we’ve set over the season so far.”
He also wants his players to play the game, not the occasion – despite everything that’s at stake.
“I think you’ve got to be careful in building up any game as bigger than another,” he added.
“You’ve all got a certain amount of league games to play, and if you start isolating certain fixtures, you can end up looking a bit foolish.
“All we can do is keep doing the good things you’ve been doing, and improve in the areas you maybe haven’t been doing so well in.
“We won’t hide from the fact it’s a derby game – and we know how big it is for both sets of supporters – but it is only one more game which we’ll try and win.
“You don’t respect your opponent any more or any less because it’s a derby game, the preparation won’t be any different.
"We’ll control the things we can control, and hopefully we’ll have that little bit of luck you sometimes need.”
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