Nick Powell said there aren’t many better feelings in football than coming off the bench and scoring – especially in a derby match.
Powell notched his 12th goal of the season with a fine left-footed strike to earn Latics a point at Bolton Wanderers after Lukas Jutkiewicz had earlier opened the scoring for the hosts on Saturday.
And the Manchester United loanee says he was delighted to make an impact given that he wasn’t 100% fit.
“I haven’t scored for a while and I’ve been ill, a bit sore and injured in the last couple of days so I knew I wasn’t going to start and I had to push the gaffer to get me on the bench,” Powell said.
“I wasn’t 100% but I just wanted to get on in the game and there’s no better feeling than scoring from the bench.
“I don’t really know what happened, I just swung a leg at it this time; it went under Marco’s (Marc-Antoine Fortune) foot and I just saw the ball there, I didn’t want to get clamped, so I just hit the ball as quick as I could and luckily it went in.”
Powell praised the character of his teammates as Latics ensured they weren’t defeated on a difficult afternoon at the Reebok Stadium where, by their own admission, they weren’t at their best.
He says the spirit Uwe Rosler has instilled in the side has given the players belief they can win any game from any position.
“At the start of the season we didn’t have that in us and we would have crumbled and wouldn’t really have got back in the game,” the England youth international added.
“The gaffer has given us that fight to the end spirit and as soon as we got the first goal we believed we could get a second one.
“It was unfortunate with Jordi’s penalty because it was one of the best you’ll see; it was right in the corner.
“The keeper’s just gambled the right way, don’t get me wrong it’s a good save, but nine times out of ten those penalties go in.”
Leicester City visit the DW Stadium on Tuesday evening and Powell says, though the Foxes are the form side in the Championship, Latics are more than capable of extending their fine unbeaten run on home turf.
And he says slim hopes of automatic promotion haven’t yet been given up, though he admits Latics probably needed more than the two points they picked up from clashes with Yeovil, QPR and Bolton.
“We seem to do better against the big clubs and I think that’s a sign of why we should be at the top,” Powell continued.
“Leicester will be looking at the win to push towards the title but we’ve got to win these games to get promoted so we’ve got to knuckle down because at home we’ve been decent this year and we feel we can beat anyone on our own ground.
“Two or three more wins and the play-offs won’t be far off being secured, we’re obviously disappointed because we look back at the three games against Yeovil, QPR and Bolton and we feel we should have got at least five or six points rather than two.
“If we had got those points we’d be right up there challenging for second place.
“It’s not out of the question but if we can make sure of the play-offs we feel we’ve got the beating of any team in this division if we’re at our best.”
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