- Latics face Aston Villa City on Saturday 17 March.
- Barrow on supporters: ‘They deserve better.’
- Barrow on goals: “We need to find that X-Factor to score goals.”
- Barrow on training: “The theme this week has been on attacking.”
- “This is about us coming together as a club, on and off the field” – Graham Barrow.
- Passionate video message ahead of the Aston Villa match, watch
WIGAN ATHLETIC v ASTON VILLA
SKY BET CHAMPIONSHIP
SATURDAY 17 MARCH 2017
Latics Interim Manager Graham Barrow spoke to Latics Player HD in Advance of the visit of Aston Villa. In an emotional interview, he said nothing else matters this week but the club, and doing everything in his power to seek survival in the Sky Bet Championship.
GB ON THE PAST WEEK
“It’d be wrong for me to say I’ve enjoyed it because it’s not nice when a manager gets sacked, but once the players got over the initial reaction that the manager had gone we then knew very quickly that we had to get on with things.
“I want people to know that I’ve ended up in this position not through choice and have never once been at this club hoping to be the manager. I’ve been chosen to carry the can now by the owners because of my experience and what I know about the club.
GB ON HIS OWN PERSONAL AMBITIONS
“I’m usually not one to blow my own trumpet, but I served the club well as a player and served the club well when I came back as manager and helped them to stay in the Football League. Roberto then approached me to come back, I didn’t apply for any job here, and I’ve enjoyed every minute of it since then because we’ve had some great times.
“I’ve served all the managers I’ve worked under as I’ve been allowed to. I had a big input with Uwe Rosler, not so much of an input with Owen Coyle and Malky Mackay, not a great deal of input under Warren Joyce because obviously he was very hands on and that’s no passing the buck because he would be the first to admit that.
Then I had a big say with Gary Caldwell, so I think my record speaks for itself in what I’ve done here.
“I’ll say it again, I’m not a big head but I’m now in an unusual position because I have to take gambles and risks because if there’s any chance of us staying up then that’s what we have to do.
“If somebody had asked me when we played Cardiff at their place months ago if I could keep the club up I’d have backed myself 100%, but can I do it now I don’t know? All I’ve done this week is challenge the players to do better because we have to do more than what we’ve been doing. I can’t fault them when I look at their physical stats but there’s more to football than physical effort. We have to find that X factor to score goals and win games.
GB ON UNITY
“There’s always been unity at this club ever since I’ve been here, and we have to get that back. The owners don’t deserve any criticism because they’ve backed every manager 100%. I don’t think any manager would have left here complaining that they didn’t have their support so that’s got to be made clear.
GB ON THE PLAYERS PERFORMING
“I put it to the players yesterday that we should be excited about playing Aston Villa tomorrow. Let’s get realistic about things, this club would have been doing cartwheels years ago if they’d have been playing Aston Villa knowing there’s 5,000 of their supporters coming to our stadium.
“The players need to be challenged. They need to produce. They’re getting paid very well and are playing football at a very good level. They’ve got to get out there and perform.
GB ON HIS MESSAGE TO THE PLAYERS
“There’ll be no shackles on tomorrow. If the players want to run forward then great, but they have to remember to run back as well and not lose the ball, that’s never changed in football. You can talk tactics until you’re blue in the face but modern day football means you have to work really hard and get up and down that pitch. I just don’t think we’ve had enough players running in the attacking direction and that’s been the theme this week, so let’s look forward to it.
GB ON THE CHALLENGE AHEAD
“It’s all about tomorrow for me first and foremost because then we have an international break and there’s no excuses after that. We’ve got a little bit of time during that period to really work on the team a bit more, but we need one big performance from the players tomorrow and then we’ll see what happens after that.
GB ON MESSAGE TO FANS
“I’ve told the players when I played here we all used to go to the old social club at Springfield Park and the players used to socialise with the supporters. There was always one bloke in there who would turn round to me and say ‘Graham, you did alright today’, he would never say I did great and told me sometimes that I was awful, but he bought me a pint and we had a chat about the game, and that’s what I like about people from Wigan, they tell you what they think.
“It’s not a problem in modern day football that everybody has an opinion, but let’s put all these opinions to one side until 4.50pm tomorrow and then we’ll see where we are.”