Jacobs aiming for back-to-back wins

Michael Jacobs in action against Doncaster
Michael Jacobs in action against Doncaster

MICHAEL Jacobs admits Wednesday night’s victory over Scunthorpe was a night where it ‘all came together’ for Wigan Athletic.

And he’s backing Latics to back up their maiden win of the campaign this afternoon at high-flying Gillingham.

Jacobs and his pals make the long trip south looking to build on their confidence-boosting demolition of the Iron in midweek.

The inclusion of Craig Davies as a second striker provided the spark that had perhaps been lacking in previous matches, resulting in the whole team clicking for the first time.

If Latics get anywhere near the performance levels of their last outing, the ex-Wolves man says they’ll take some stopping - both tomorrow and in the weeks and months ahead.

“It all came together on Wednesday night,” Jacobs told the Evening Post.

“We kept the philosophy of playing the ball out from the back, trying to dominate the game from the first minute, and you could see the lads were playing with more and more confidence.

“Playing with two up front, with the inclusion of Davo, gave is a new dimension, and I thought we thoroughly deserved the points.

“We always knew the first few weeks would be tough while it all gelled together.

“It was just nice to get that performance in early on and show what we’re all about.

“You can tell that the group is full of good players, and it’s about making sure we put it all together and produce a performance we know we’re capable of.

“To score three goals and keep a clean sheet was pleasing, and everything went right for us.

“It shows there’s no reason why we can’t win games playing the way the manager wants us to play.”

Davies’ selection up top alongside Will Grigg transformed the whole look of the team, without them compromising their footballing philosophy.

“You don’t become a long-ball team just because there’s an extra striker in there,” Jacobs acknowledged.

“Having someone with his power and hold-up play just gives you an out-ball if you can’t play it out from the back.

“We’ll always try and play it out the way the manager wants us to, but sometimes you need someone who’s capable of doing it differently.

“I’ve played against Craig for years in the Championship, League One and League Two, and I know what he’s capable of.

“Calling him a target man does him a bit of a disservice because he also rolls defenders so well and gets his shot away, and his touch is excellent.

“It also takes some of the pressure off Will, who’s been sometimes doing a two-man job up front.

“Having Craig there allowed Will to play a little bit more on the shoulder, making the runs we know he can.

“I thought it worked really well, and once Craig gets a few more games under his belt and his match fitness up, there’s no reason why they both can’t score goals in this division.”

Having a front two to work behind also gave Jacobs - playing in a free role just behind - double the options to work with.

“It does suit me a little bit more,” he added.

“You can play into Craig and run off him or play it over the top for Will, who’s on the shoulder of the defender.

“I enjoy playing in that position between the front two, as a third midfielder with defensive duties as well.

“Hopefully it’s onwards and upwards now we’ve got the first win out of the way.”

Not that Latics will find it easy travelling to a Gillingham side who have picked up seven points from a possible nine so far, which leaves them second in the fledgling table.

“If we go to Gillingham and get nothing, then Wednesday night means nothing,” he added.

“It’s all well winning games at home and keeping clean sheets, but if you get nothing in the next game you’ve only got three points from a possible six and that’s no use.

“So it’s important we try and get an unbeaten run going.

“If you want to be up there challenging for the title, you have to go to places like Gillingham and pick up points.

“I’ve played down there a couple of times and it’s a great atmosphere, they really get behind their side when they’re on top.

“I think we’re capable of getting something if we play the way we’re capable of, and that’s what we’ll be aiming to do.”