Dunkley has a Wigan Athletic record in sight

Chey Dunkley in action against Bournemouth
Chey Dunkley in action against Bournemouth

Chey Dunkley admits Wigan Athletic’s brilliant backline will be going all-out to write themselves into the history books this weekend at Plymouth.

Latics have gone seven league matches without conceding a goal – one short of the eight-game mark set by Paul Jewell’s third-tier title winners of 2002/03.

And although the three points will be the top priority at Home Park, Dunkley acknowledges it would be nice to do it with another shut-out.

“You know what, as a defender, the first thing you’re thinking about going into a game is to not concede a goal,” he told the Wigan Post.

“But we know we could make a little bit of history at the weekend, and hopefully we can do that.

“There’s a real pride among the backline to keep as many clean sheets as we can.

“And ultimately it comes down to habits, and trying to do it week in, week out.

“If you can keep as many clean sheets as we have, that’s got to help the overall aim of winning enough games to get promoted.

“At the same time it’s not something that’s going to sidetrack us.

“It’s something that’s nice to pick up along the way, but the most important thing is to get the result and the three points.”

While boss Paul Cook has largely gone with a tried and tested backline, it was all change in midweek for the FA Cup third-round replay win over Bournemouth.

Dunkley was the only member of the back five to keep his place, with Jamie Jones replacing Christian Walton in goal, Max Power switching from midfield to right-back in place of Nathan Byrne, and Alex Bruce and Callum Elder deputising for Dan Burn and Reece James.

While those four changes are expected to be reversed for the weekend, Dunkley says whoever is named on the team sheet will have warranted selection.

“Whoever comes in to the backline, it seems we’ve got a very good relationship,” he revealed.

“And you look at the likes of Alex, Callum , Jamie, who came in the other night...it’s those players who are pushing us all on to maintain our standards.

“They’re the ones doing the hard work behind closed doors at Euxton, pushing everyone on to work as hard as they can.

“It’s easy to just look at the back four or the back five who play most weeks, but it’s all about the team, the squad.

“The gaffer’s made a couple of signings already this month and that will only help the squad to perform even better.”

And having seen off Premier League Bournemouth in such emphatic fashion, Dunkley says the side will travel south to Plymouth in high spirits.

“It’s good for the lads to be going in to such a big game, at Plymouth, with so much momentum,” he added.

“We took so so many positives out of the Bournemouth game, not least so many players getting game-time and match fitness.

“It also underlined the strength of the squad, that we could make so many changes and the quality of performance not be affected.

“We know Plymouth have picked up a lot of points of late, and it’s going to be tough for us down there.

“Every time I’ve been down to Plymouth it’s always been a good game, a competitive game.

“They’ll be determined to get a result, as the home side.

“But we’ve got to keep focus and take the momentum from the Bournemouth game – and we’re determined to do that.”