Wigan Athletic boss taking 'nothing for granted' ahead of Shrewsbury
Leam Richardson has warned Wigan Athletic to be on their guard tonight against a Shrewsbury side who have ‘earned the right’ to play with a freedom that comes with having already secured safety.
Latics travel to Shropshire looking for a fourth victory in a row – which would go a long way towards booking their spot in League One for next term.
It’s a luxury Shrewsbury secured several weeks ago, after a quite astonishing mid-season run following a poor start.
And although the Shrews – 10 points clear of the drop zone – have little to play for other than personal pride, Richardson believes that makes them dangerous opponents.
“Shrewsbury are a very good team who’ve had a very good season,” he said.
"And they’ve earned the right to be where they are in the table.
"After a slow start to the season, they galvanised and went from strength to strength.
“There’s too many good players, managers and teams for us to take anything for granted.
“We’ve been thrown into this challenge, and it’s never changed – to win enough points to stay in this league.
“One game’s not going to define our season, but of course it could obviously get us nearer to where we want to be.
"We’re very mindful we’re going to a team that’s very well managed and coached, and full of good players.
“If we can maintain our recent performance levels, it’ll give us a chance of competing, and that’s what we’re aiming to do.”
Latics kick-off four points clear of the drop zone with four matches to play, after picking up nine points in the space of seven days thanks to wins over Doncaster, Sunderland and Crewe.
Richardson believes that is mainly down to a change in fortunes, rather than a lift in performance levels.
“If you look back to our first year in the Championship, there were so many of our performances that were excellent, but we weren’t getting the results we deserved,” he added.
“Individual errors and mistakes were turning wins into draws, and draws into losses.
"But in the second half of the season, we finally managed to cut those out, and the results finally started to marry up with the performance levels.
“It’s been very similar this year and certainly, speaking to the analysts about the numbers, we were mindful we were doing a lot right that we had to stick with.
“In the end, if you have good habits, and you continue to have good numbers, more than likely you will start to pick up what you deserve.”