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SQUAD WILL BE REFRESHED SAYS BARNETT

PUBLISHED

14:13 14th October 2013

by Nick Taylor

The perfect time for a break says defender as Latics prepare for five games in 14 days.

With six first team players currently away representing their national teams during a testing final World Cup qualifying fixture period, Leon Barnett and the rest of the squad remain at Latics’ Christopher Park training ground working as hard as ever to prepare themselves for the games to come at club level.

The dominating centre half said that it’s a break from matches that has come at the perfect time in order to rejuvenate.

“It’s strange to have two weeks without a game because we’ve played so many recently, but it’s a nice thing to have to freshen up the legs a little bit.

“We’re looking forward to getting back to business there’s no doubt about that and we’re eager to get going again so we can pick up more points in the league, but we can work on our fitness and make sure we’re 100% for our next game against Blackpool.”

Looking back at the way Latics went into the international fixtures, Barnett said the team did everything they could to create a positive feeling.

“We were made to dig deep in our last game before the international break and the way we forced the result out of the game showed how determined we are as a team.

“The gaffer wants to see that from us and so do the supporters, so I think it was a perfect way to go into the break.

“He (Owen Coyle) told us to go out against Blackburn and make sure we got three points to give us a positive before we have a rest.”

A mixture of rest and hard work is what Barnett said the team needed, particularly with the testing period of fixtures in the last few weeks.

“There have been a lot of tired bodies recently because we’ve played so many games.

“The gaffer had to freshen things up over the last few matches, but everyone continued to play their part and we’re all pulling together really well.

“I think that was very clear in our last match because Boycey played the Europa League game three days before Blackburn and then came on to score a winning goal, he was used very well tactically in that respect.”

Another boost for Latics in their previous league game was the return of Barnett’s former Norwich City team mate Grant Holt, who helped the team equalise against Blackburn Rovers.

“We’ve had another big positive because Grant (Holt) is back and he gives us a real presence up front.

“Grant’s looking really sharp in training and hopefully the international break will give him and all of us the chance to rest up.”

Tickets for Latics' return to action against Blackpool at Bloomfield Road on Saturday 19 October have now sold out, but that doesn't mean you will miss out on the action as you can follow updates of the game on Cover it Live by [clicking here] and you can listen to live commentary on Latics Player by [clicking here].

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