Wigan Athletic aiming to prove 'disrespectful' doubters wrong
Jamie Proctor has revealed a desire to prove the doubters wrong is helping to underpin Wigan Athletic’s survival fight.
Latics slipped back into the League One drop zone at the weekend, having seen their scheduled fixture against Sunderland postponed.
But they have an immediate chance to climb back out on Tuesday night when they travel to rock-bottom AFC Wimbledon.
A third victory on the spin would further boost confidence levels at the DW, and Proctor says the spirit in the camp remains unwavering in its total belief in the cause.
“I know the manager’s spoken about it before, but I do think with all the stuff that’s been going on off the field, it’s made everyone in the dressing room pull together even more,” he said.
“And that’s exactly what you need in a situation like we’re in.
“If you’ve got some players who don’t want to be here, some players who don’t want to give it everything, some players who think they’re too good for the situation, it just won’t work.
“I look around the group and I don’t see any of that whatsoever.
"I see a group of players who are here for a reason – and they might be for different reasons – but ultimately the number one goal for everyone here is to keep this club in this division.
“And hopefully next season – under new owners, with a fresh start – we can try to get this club back to where it should be.
“I know any player will always tell you that’s the case from the inside anyway.
“But it is absolutely 100 per cent the case here, that every single player, every single day, knows what we have to do individually and collectively to achieve what we want to achieve.
“I think in recent weeks that’s started to show in terms of results, and not just performances, which have been there all season.
“In the recent weeks we’ve maybe banged our heads together a little bit more, added a little bit more experience, and it’s moving in the right direction.”
Proctor was one of several January arrivals to bolster the squad for the run-in.
And the on-loan Rotherham striker – who hails from and started his career at Preston – has immediately found himself at home at the DW, in a dressing room he says is fighting as one.
“You’ve seen the lads that have come in...really good lads, in addition to being good quality players, who have had good careers, and have good careers still ahead of them,” he added.
“I don’t think the manager would have been able to bring in players like that if there wasn’t a belief at the club that we can get out of this.
“No matter who you are and which club you play for, you don’t want to be coming in every day thinking you’re going to get beat, we’re on a downward spiral,and we’re only going one way.
It’s not good for you, for your mentality, for your lifestyle, away from football...it’s just toxic and you don’t want to be part of that.
“Every single player at the club knows where we’re going, and how they are going to be important in helping us to get there.
"The staff members off the field are doing three-four-five roles, which at other clubs they just wouldn’t be doing.
“So to be producing the performances we have been doing – and hopefully now the results are starting to follow - it speaks volumes.
“And if we can keep everyone fit, and keep everyone fighting the way we have been, we will give ourselves an unbelievable chance.
“I’ve seen comments that for us to even be in with a fighting chance with 12 games to go is incredible.
“I kind of don’t buy into that, because with the squad we’ve got, the least we should be doing is giving ourselves a fighting chance.
“We know people have been writing us off all year, which I think has been very disrespectful.
"But only we can do the job of proving people wrong, and hopefully we’ll be able to look back at the end of the season and say to the doubters: ‘You shouldn’t have written us off’.”