Gavin Massey determined to get Wigan Athletic over the line to Championship safety

Gavin Massey has called on Wigan Athletic to repay their loyal supporters by delivering Championship safety on the big derby-day stage against Preston North End.
Gavin Massey celebrates one of his goals against LeedsGavin Massey celebrates one of his goals against Leeds
Gavin Massey celebrates one of his goals against Leeds

Massey was the two-goal hero of Friday’s 2-1 victory at Leeds that edged Latics to within touching distance of survival.

Barring an unlikely series of other results, a win over North End would secure Wigan’s place in the Championship with two games to spare.

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And Massey wants Latics to make it a Bank Holiday Monday to remember in the town.

“There’s still a job to do, but we know our home form’s been great - and two of the last three are at the DW,” he told the Wigan Post.

“A draw may be enough to do it, because of our goal difference.

“But we’re determined to get the win to get us over the line.

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“We certainly owe Preston one for what happened at their place (a 4-0 defeat), so that will be in our minds as well.”

Having won at Leeds despite being a man light for 75 minutes - after Cedric Kipre’s controversial red card - Latics will go into the game with plenty of confidence.

It could have been all so different, with Leeds taking the lead within three minutes of the red card through Patrick Bamford.

But Massey stepped up to the plate when his team needed it the most, netting just before the break and again shortly after the hour mark.

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“You obviously fear the worst when you go down to 10 men,” he acknowledged.

“But we had a real belief within ourselves, especially when we got the first goal.

“At half-time we knew we could get something, the gaffer told us not to sit off and try and hold on.

“Me and Clarkey (Leon Clarke) were told to stay up front, and as soon as the ball gets played forward, that’s when we do our work.

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“You kind of felt bad for the other players doing all the work while we stayed up front.

“But that was the game-plan and it worked a treat.”

Massey had also scored in the 3-0 win at Stoke on August 22 - Wigan’s only other win on the road this term.

And he had a feeling before the game something special was about to happen.

“You know, sometimes you have a little feeling you’re going to score, and I had that,” he revealed.

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“The first goal was great work from Evo (Lee Evans), and I just smashed it home.

“The second goal was a great knock-down from Clarkey, and someone that good in the air is going to attract more than one defender.

“I actually thought he was going to head for goal, but he’s nodded it straight to me and I’ve just got to finish it off.”

Having scored a brace, Massey was replaced for the final 15 minutes by Nick Powell - which initially didn’t go down to well with the match-winner.

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“My first thought was: ‘No gaffer, I’m on a hat-trick...I’m not too tired’!” he laughed.

“But then I thought of the Kepa situation recently (at Chelsea) and decided not to risk it with the gaffer!

“With my previous injuries it was the smart thing to do, it wasn’t worth the risk.”