Callum Elder admits Wigan Athletic’s push for dual glory this season is based on fear - of failure, and of not being in the team!
Latics are about to head into one of the biggest weeks of the campaign, with important league games against Scunthorpe (Saturday) and Bradford (next Wednesday) ahead of next Sunday’s FA Cup quarter-final with Southampton.
They’ll go into it full of beans after a morale-boosting draw at Blackburn last weekend, when they fought back from a 2-0 half-time deficit to claim a point.
And Elder says the fighting spirit in the camp is built on the knowledge that, if performance levels dip, there is someone waiting in the wing to take over.
“The competition for places in all areas of the team has been strong, and I think that only breeds success,” the on-loan Leicester man said.
“As a player you know you have to perform to the best of your ability, or you’re giving the manager an excuse to bring somebody else in.
“The major focus, though, has to be promotion, and however the manager lines us up to try and achieve that, we have to buy into that because it’s right for the team.”
Elder got the nod over left-back Reece James for the trip to Ewood, the latest twist in arguably the most keenly-contested battle for a shirt in the squad.
And the Australian says he’s been ‘chuffed to bits’ with the way things have worked out for him at the DW Stadium.
“There’s always ups and downs at any club, but on the whole I couldn’t be happier with the way things are going at Wigan,” he added.
“To be involved with not just a promotion push but also an FA Cup run is something I’ve not experienced before, and I’m loving every minute.
“From the minute I walked in it’s been so great to be a part of it, and I feel totally at home.
“Being a loan player, it’s sometimes a hard adjustment to make. It all depends on the attitude of not only yourself but the other lads in the group.
“I can’t praise the other lads enough for helping me to settle in.
“There’s no cliques in the group, and everyone’s working really hard together to make sure we achieve our goals.”