Wigan Athletic turned back-to-back 0-0 draws into a victory yesterday, overcoming Huddersfield Town courtesy of goals from Leon Barnett and Nick Powell in difficult circumstances as the rain fell in droves on the DW Stadium.
Centre back Ryan Shotton was involved in the thick of the action, as he and Barnett held out the Terriers’ threat, bar an unfortunate deflection at the end of the first half.
Despite being pulled level, the Stoke City loanee said it was a match and performance to be savoured:
“You always have to enjoy those types of games when you’re on the winning side because it was a real battle and both teams wanted to score another goal right until the end of the game.
“It was disappointing how we let them back in just before half time, but we knew if we got the ball forward enough we would finish one of our chances.”
After Powell scored on 49 minutes, Shotton said he knew Latics were in for a fight back:
“Because we scored early on in the second half we always knew that Huddersfield would come at us as they needed a second equaliser.
“At the same time we wanted a third to try and kill the game off, which is something we need to learn to do.
“We need to be able to put teams to the sword, we weren’t able to do it this weekend, but that side of our game is definitely coming.”
Before Latics grabbed the crucial second, the weather took a turn for the worse, something which Shotton believes Latics dealt with professionally.
“We managed the conditions very well.
“The rain came down just at the start of the second half which made everything that little bit more difficult, but we don’t mind that because it means concentration levels must be even higher.”
As one of three loan players at the club, Shotton added that he’s enjoying life with Latics and thinks his fellow team mates are too:
“I’ve been playing right back and centre back and that’s something me and the gaffer talked about when I came here.
“I like playing in the centre and Leon and me are striking up a good partnership, but I’ll play anywhere as long as I’m in the team.”
On his fellow loan players Shotton added:
“Marc (Albrighton) seems a great lad, he’s building up his confidence and fitness and I’m sure that very soon he’ll fit right into this group of players because they’re a great bunch.
“Me and Nick (pictured) get on well with everybody and the whole squad is integrating really well right now.
“Nick’s a great lad and his finish summed him up, it was so relaxed, but he just smashes the ball in showing how clinical he can be.
“He works very hard when he steps over the line onto the pitch, sometimes he needs kicking on, but he showed today just how much quality he has.”