Wigan Athletic guest column: Chey Dunkley

Chey Dunkley
Chey Dunkley

We obviously didn’t sign off for the international break the way we wanted, with the loss at Preston.

It’s been about regrouping in the last week or so, and working harder – because that’s the only way you’ll get better.

It’s not been about panic stations or drastically changing anything we’ve been doing.

We know we’re in a tough league, and we’re trying our best to be as competitive as we can.

Looking at the 12-game block we’ve had so far, 17 points and a top-half place is not a bad return.

To be fair, we could easily have been two or three points better off, given how well we’ve played over the season.

Norwich away was probably a game we should have got something from, QPR as well, and we’ve conceded some late goals in other games.

And that’s not being negative – that’s underlining the standard of what we’ve produced so far.

Dan Burn’s returned to full fitness recently, and that’s going to add to the competition at the heart of the defence.

But the environment here is such that everyone wants to work as hard as they can, and make it a real ballache for the gaffer in terms of team selection.

He’s then having to make big decisions, tough decisions, and we want to make it as difficult as we can for him.

The gaffer’s been a player himself, and he’ll know how disappointing it is to be left out of the team.

But it has to be that way, we’re all in it together, and that was definitely the key for our success last year.

We had players who weren’t getting a game who would have walked into most if not all of the other sides in the division. But if you want to achieve what we want to achieve, you have to have that level of competition.

This weekend sees us return to action against West Brom – a massive club and a great side at this level.

But that’s been the case for most if not all games at this level – the Championship’s full of big clubs who are aiming for the Premier League.

The game’s at our place, and we haven’t been doing badly on home soil this season.

And it’s certainly a game that, if we can take something from, would give us a lift for the rest of the campaign.

The West Brom game means a little bit more to me because I’m from Wolverhampton, just down the road.

My mum’s side of the family are all Wolves, my dad’s side probably more Blues (Birmingham).

There’s a lot of big clubs in that area – it’s a real hotbed of football.

Wolves in particular are doing well, and they’ve shown what can happen with a bit of momentum behind you.

You look at Accrington as well who’ve started in League One like they finished in League Two, and that’s what you’re aiming to do.

Having finished so well ourselves last year, I definitely think that helped us with the good start to the season.

Chey Dunkley was speaking to Paul Kendrick