Let's Burn Oxford again, urges Wigan Athletic ace!
Dan Burn believes victory tonight over Oxford at the DW would not only take Wigan Athletic three points clear at the top of League One with four matches to go '“ it would also silence a few critics who should have known better.
Latics are aiming to take full advantage of their game in hand over second-placed Blackburn with a home game against the U’s, who were on the wrong end of a 7-0 drubbing in the correspinding fixture just before Christmas.
Third-placed Shrewsbury – five points behind the top two – are also in action against Charlton on what could prove to be a pivotal evening.
And Burn reckons a win would also make Saturday’s 0-0 draw against Rotherham prove to be a big point gained rather than two lost.
“I think we’ll look back on Rotherham as a good point, like Scunthorpe the other week and Blackburn away,” he told the Wigan Post.
“Rotherham started really well to be fair to them, although I thought they died on their feet and there was only one team going to win it.
“We just couldn’t get the goal to force the win, but the important thing at this stage of the season is to keep it tight and make sure you don’t lose.
“I remember a few people writing us off a few weeks ago when we’d played a few games behind the other two teams.
“But we’ve always had the belief that we’re the best team in the league, and it’s nice to be top of the table.”
Despite taking their points tally to 87 – the same as Gary Caldwell’s title-winners finished with two years ago – Latics still have work to do to secure promotion back to the Championship at the first attempt.
But the magical 100-point mark still remains within reach, just, if Latics can get back to winning ways and stay there for the run-in.
“I’ve always wanted to get 100 points on the board, but Saturday maybe killed that a little bit,” Burn assessed.
“We can still get 102 points, and we’ll keep going, expecting to win every game, and see what happens.
“It’s not as if it’s our main target, but I think if you asked any of the lads they’d all want to get to100 points.
“But obviously the most important thing is to get over the line, then win the league, and get your hands on that medal.
“To win this league as a team – especially this year, with it being so tight and competitive – would be a great achievement.
“But the first priority is to go up first, before we start worrying about winning the league.
“Shrewsbury will have had a big lift from both ourselves and Blackburn failing to win, and they’re still in it with five games to go.”
Boss Paul Cook has intimated there will be changes in the starting XI tonight for the first time in four matches to freshen things up.
And Burn admits the effects of a long and arduous campaign are starting to be felt out there on the field.
“We did a tough pre-season, so we’re ready for the challenge,” the big centre-back added.
“What’s done for us a little bit was the FA Cup run, which was brilliant at the time, but is probably now starting to have its effect.
“But there’s only five games left, we’ve probably got two teams of 11 who could do the job asked of them, and we just need to keep going.”