Wigan Athletic supporters made the trip to South Yorkshire in their numbers yesterday as over 2,000 of them raised the roof of the away end at Oakwell and it didn’t go unnoticed by the players as Stephen Crainey explains.
“It was great to finally be out there in a competitive game in a Wigan Athletic shirt.
“I was absolutely delighted and running up that tunnel seeing how the fans were reacting to us was absolutely outstanding.
“Their support spurred the boys on in the game and it would be a massive boost if they can keep that up all season and then I’m sure we’ll have a successful season.”
After the final whistle and confirmation of a dominant first day win, Crainey and his team mates took a few moments to celebrate with supporters before making their way down the tunnel.
The 32-year-old showed his intentions for the season by pumping his fists to the delight of the fans who could sense his passion for the cause.
“I’m quite quiet off the pitch to be honest but when I’m on it I’m passionate and I want to do my best for the club.
“I’ll be showing that passion every time I put on a Wigan Athletic shirt, I’ve been doing it all of my career and I’m not about to stop that.”
On the nature of the performance the former Blackpool man was equally as delighted saying:
“We started the game really well, we got our passing game flowing really well and it showed in the end because we scored some good team goals.
“Credit to the lads on the pitch because even when Barnsley went down to ten men we still played well and we were fully deserving of the win.
“To be honest I would have taken 1-0 today because we know the Championship is a very hard league and a long slog so to score four goals is a huge confidence boost.”
Although confident, Crainey remained firm that Latics must not get too carried away:
“Hopefully we can continue to win games right to the end of the season.
“We want to stay grounded and modest and we’ll be taking each game as it comes to make sure we get three points most weeks.”
Next up for Latics is the Community Shield against Manchester United on Sunday 11 August and Crainey wanted to encourage supporters to make the trip.
“It’s not every day you play at Wembley so I’m sure we’ll go there and really enjoy it and give a good account of ourselves.
“We know it’s going to be a tough match against Man United but you never know what might happen.
“The pressure is all on Man United and not on us so I’d urge fans to come to the game and enjoy being at Wembley again as they did last season.”