Callum McManaman reckons the big-game atmosphere for this weekend’s visit of Derby will help bring out the best in Wigan Athletic.
Latics host the Rams – one of the best-supported sides in the Championship – looking to extend their unbeaten run to four matches.
And rather than looking negatively at the challenge of facing one of the promotion favourites, McManaman has a simple message: Bring it on!
“I think games like Derby suit us, where the opposition bring big away followings,” he told the Wigan Post.
“It lifts the atmosphere inside the stadium, our fans respond and it makes for a better occasion.
“As a player you want that atmosphere to make its way down to the pitch, it gives you that little bit extra.
“At Bolton on Saturday our fans were in the top tier, and that was disappointing because you’d want them pitch level and involved more.
“Obviously that’s not their fault, but we want them with us as much as possible and we’ll need them for Derby.”
It’s the second of six matches in December – and McManaman sees no reason why Latics can’t target an unbeaten month.
“The gaffer’s been on at us to get going on a good run, and it’s something we feel we’re capable of,” he added.
“We’ve got a reasonably good run of fixtures, the confidence levels are back up, and that’s the aim now.
“We’ve been great at home this season, and we fancy our chances against Derby or anyone else coming to the DW.
“If we can keep picking up points on the road that’s going to help us move up the table.
“We’re three unbeaten, and the challenge now is to stay unbeaten for the month.”