The Christopher Park training ground report is back!
In the build-up to one of Wigan Athletic’s longest Premier League away trips this season, tireless midfielder James McCarthy explains just what the preparations are like for journeys to the likes of Swansea City, Norwich City and this weekend’s opponents Southampton.
“Each away trip is different.
“Take this weekend for example, we will be flying down to the game rather than driving on a coach so it isn’t that bad.
“It’s much better preparation for the game that we take as little time as possible getting there, if we went on the train it could take quite a long time because of the location that Southampton is in.
“The club look after us really well in that respect and it gives us the best chance of being out our best for the match.”
In recent seasons, Latics have seen North-West opponents fall by the wayside and now face 15 sides outside of the region, including six London-based clubs.
McCarthy doesn’t see this as a problem though, more a natural factor of playing at the highest level.
“A lot of the teams around us aren’t in the division anymore which is a shame because it was good to play the local teams because preparations were similar to when we have a home game.
“These things happen as a footballer though and we just want to get on with it.
“We usually get a train down to London when we play those teams so that isn’t too bad either.
“It’s ok on the train because you get to have a walk about and stretch your legs.
“In terms of preparing for the game, being on a train is ok because you get to get yourself in the zone for the game.”
When asked what keeps him busy on such a journey, McCarthy said.
“I just mess about on the laptop, listen to a bit of music, have a chat with the boys and before you know it you arrive.”
With Latics’ first away game just around the corner, the Irish international expressed his excitement to be facing a new opponent at a new ground.
“I’m looking forward to going to St Mary’s, it’s a new ground for me and the atmosphere will be huge because it’s their first game at home back in the Premier League.
“The lads will thrive from the atmosphere even though the crowd will be on us as the away team, it’s always a good challenge to try and give our fans something to cheer about when we are away from home.
“Southampton is probably the longest trip we’ll have this season, especially for the fans who deserve a lot of credit for following us so far and hopefully they’ll come out in good numbers.”