Let's relish it - Warnock
Stephen Warnock has urged his Wigan Athletic colleagues to embrace the challenge of a trip to the lion's den at Norwich tonight.
Latics make the long trip south on the back of three defeats on the spin, a run which has left them out of the bottom three only on goal difference.
After going down at Sheffield Wednesday on Saturday, Latics have an equally difficult task at Carrow Road tonight against another side hotly fancied for promotion.
However, the vastle-experienced Warnock says Latics should be excited by, not shaking in fear at, such a high-profile clash.
“You have to relish challenges like this, you’ve got to enjoy going to grounds like this,” Warnock told the Evening Post.
“There’s nothing better than going somewhere like Norwich and getting a result.
“It’s a four or five-hour coach trip back, but to be able to enjoy the journey thinking ‘we’ve put in a right shift there and come away with something’ is what it’s all about.
“These are games we worked so hard last year to be able to take part in.
“You want to play against Norwich, Sheffield Wednesday, Aston Villa, Newcastle.
“We worked so hard last year, but the levels have got to go up even more this year.”
Latics had their moments at Hillsborough on Saturday before going down 2-1, and Warnock says the way they took control from the outset will stand them in good stead.
“The mentality has to be exactly the same,” he added.
“We have to go out and silence the crowd, take the game to them, create chances and taking them when they come.
“The main thing we have to learn from Saturday is stopping so many chances being created against us. We need to learn from what happened at Sheffield, and we will.”
Latics boss Gary Caldwell is still waiting to learn the extent of the groin injury sustained by Nick Powell at Hillsborough, although he is almost certainly ruled out of tonight’s game.
Captain Craig Morgan and David Perkins have also remained behind in the north west for further treatment.
The Latics squad will stay down in Norwich after the game and train in the area tomorrow morning before travelling home in the afternoon, to ensure preparations for Saturday’s visit of Fulham remain as unaffected as possible.
“We’ve put a lot of thought into this as a staff, the players have had an input, and no stone has been left unturned,” Caldwell added.
“We’re ready for Tuesday, we’ll be ready for Saturday, and it’s about us going out and performing as we can.”