Speaking after last night’s 2-1 victory over Atromitos at Leigh Sports Village, Roger Espinoza explained that the team effort has been a major factor in Latics’ pre-season form so far.
The 26-year-old said:
“The result says a lot about our team because we played a good side who are in the Europa League play-off again this season.
“It’s a good way to measure how good we are getting but obviously we’ve still got a lot of work to do before the start of the season.
“It was a team commitment to win the ball back so high up the pitch that worked really well for us to get the chance to score the first goal.”
On the penalty he added:
“Me and Fraser (Fyvie) were putting pressure on the defence and eventually Fraser stole the ball and played Marc into the box.
“It makes it a lot easier to win the ball back in the way that we did because as a unit you don’t get tired.”
Impressed with the unity, Espinoza also said that the mix of styles has been a major positive.
“We’ve got players who can defend and break up play and also those who can create attacking moves so tactically we’re in good shape.
“There’s a great mix of players in the squad at the moment and Marc (-Antoine Fortune) showed that we’ve got a natural finisher.
“We were given opportunities as a team to score and Marc and Jordi did exactly what we needed them to do to give us the result.”
After holding a 2-0 lead, Atromitos pulled a goal back with less than 15 minutes remaining as conditions remained humid but, Espinoza said the weather was a lot easier on the players than it has been over in the
United States during the team’s pre-season tour.
“We approach every game in the same way no matter what team we are playing, the only differences between the game against last night and the games in America is the heat and the surface.
“It was warm last night during the game but the weather was a lot different to the games we played in Ohio and Pennsylvania.
“It was humid down on the pitch but still not as hot as when we played the games in the US so more players were able to complete 90 minutes.”