Latics ensured back-to-back clean sheets yesterday after seeing off Ipswich Town 2-0 at the DW Stadium, following on from Thursday’s Europa League 0-0 draw against Zulte Waregem.
Goalkeeper Scott Carson pulled off a string of top quality stops to prevent Mick McCarthy’s Tractor Boys, but he was quick to praise the defensive efforts of the whole team:
“We’ve been defending much more as a unit in the last couple of games, we’re picking up more second balls, we’re looking more organised and that’s why we’ve picked up two clean sheets in a row.
“I don’t think we played our very best today, but maybe that’s a good sign if we can win games and still pick up the victories.
“Some games take fighting spirit rather than a complete performance, examples of that come with the likes of Ben Watson who threw himself in front of a shot in the second half.
“If the shot had missed Ben it would have hit two other defenders because they’d got themselves in a position to put their bodies on the line too.
“We need that sort of defending sometimes in this league because it’s tough as we all know.”
Looking back at his own performance during the game, Carson said it took time to grow into the performance, but overall he was very pleased.
“I thought I had a mixed performance really.
“I didn’t have the best start to the game and there was an early mix up with Perchy, which was all made okay by the fact that we didn’t concede a goal from it.
“After that I seemed to get into the game more and my confidence grew.”
“The biggest thing for myself and the back four is that the goals we were conceding in the first few games were conceded far too easily.”
Among others, the 28-year-old saved at point blank range from David McGoldrick and tipped a goal-bound Christophe Berra effort out of his top corner.
Admitting it was good to pull those kinds of stops off Carson said:
“It’s always nice to make saves like some of the ones in the game, but to me the most important thing is that when I make saves the team goes on to win and they did that really well.
“It all counts for nothing if you make saves and the team doesn’t win, what’s more satisfying is that the whole team worked hard to make sure we came away with three points.”