‘Perform or we’ll get punished’, warns Wigan Athletic star
Anthony Pilkington certainly made his mark on his Wigan Athletic debut against Aston Villa.
He also made something of a mark on his second appearance at Sheffield Wednesday last weekend.
But instead of a man-of-the-match performance including an assist, which helped put paid to Villa, his legacy from Hillsborough was a nasty gash on his ankle that caused his half-time substitution.
“It’s a very sore one,” Pilkington told the Wigan Post.
“Garns has knocked it down to me and I’ve tried to volley it, but I’ve caught their lad’s studs.
“I’ve followed through and basically volleyed his studs, which isn’t great.
“There’s lots of swelling, but hopefully it’ll settle down soon and it won’t be too bad.
“Fingers crossed I’ll be all right for Nottingham Forest on Saturday.”
Latics could certainly do with their newest signing –the only January arrival so far – taking to the field at the City Ground.
The way they slumped to defeat against a Wednesday side struggling themselves this season was in the stark contrast to the swashbuckling win over play-off-chasing Villa.
“We never really seemed to get going at all,” acknowledged Pilkington.
“It just wasn’t ourselves – especially coming on the back of such a great performance and result against Aston Villa.
“It was almost like a different team out there, even though it was the same players.
“It’s so disappointing to have come up with that, but all we can do is put it behind us and try and get back to what we know we can do.
“You can’t always get the result, but we know that performances have to be better than that.
“We all know that as a group, and we all said that after the game.”
Not that Latics will have it easy against a Forest side looking to give new boss Martin O’Neill a nice three-point welcome present.
“They’re all tough games in this league, there’s no easy points to be had anywhere,” recognised Pilkington.
“You know you’ve got to be right at the top of your game every single week or you’re going to get punished.”