- Warren Joyce reflects on Wigan Athletic’s win at Wolves.
- Joyce hands out praise to match-winner Jake Buxton and goalkeeper Matt Gilks on full debut debut.
- “A fantastic amount of effort and endeavour from the players,” says Joyce.
Wigan Athletic manager Warren Joyce was delighted with his side’s performance as they battled to a 1-0 win at Wolves on Tuesday night.
Jake Buxton’s late header secured all three points for Joyce’s side and the manager was full of praise for his players.
“There was a fantastic amount of effort and endeavour from the players,” Joyce said. “We played slightly different to normal and, to be honest, we’ve asked the players to be adaptable in the way they have played since I have been at the football club really.
“Certain teams and certain players are suited to different things but I thought they were magnificent tonight in everything we asked to do.”
On goal-scorer Jake Buxton, he added:
“Jake took his header well; you want goals from all areas, we’ve said that before, and everyone has to chip in.
“We attack as a team, defend as a team, and it doesn’t matter who scores the goals as long as somebody does.
“I am delighted for Jake, though, because he’s such a good professional too.”
Joyce handed Matt Gilks a first Latics start in place of Jakob Haugaard after the Dane suffered a head injury at Fulham on Saturday, and he was pleased with the 35-year-old’s impact.
“For Matt on Saturday it was difficult for him to come in cold having not played much and he didn’t really have much to do other than the goals,” Joyce said of Gilks’ debut at Craven Cottage.
“Certainly tonight, though, he did very well for his when he was called upon.”
On Haugaard and also Michael Jacobs, who was replaced at half-time by Jamie Hanson, the news was less positive, though.
“Michael has some fatigue and a bit of a problem with his hamstring,” Joyce explained. “I think it was when he had a burst across the pitch where he ran probably 70 yards with the ball flat out.
“We don’t know the full extent with Jakob, but it will be at least a couple of weeks for him, though we are fortunate that we still have two top goalkeepers at the football club.
“Jussi Jaaskelainen has been injured too and was on the bench tonight despite a foot injury, but it’s good to have that experience as well as the young kids to help with this sort of situation.”
Latics had surrendered leads in their past two matches against Norwich City and Fulham and Joyce was pleased with they was his side protected their advantage in the closing stages at Molineux.
He’s now looking for his side to add further points to their tally against Preston North End on Saturday.
“I thought we saw the game out well,” he added. “Everybody played their part tonight but the two centre-halves in particular and the full backs were excellent.
“We spoke before the game about having 16 cup finals between now and the end of the season and we want to try and win every one.
“It sounds like a tough job, but you’ve only got to win the games one at a time and that’s one chalked off.
“We have to dust ourselves down now and prepare to build on this on Saturday.”
Praising the 261 travelling supporters, Joyce continued by saying a huge effort will be needed from the stands in the local derby with Preston on Saturday.
“It was a big effort from the supporters and the players are really appreciative of that,” he added.
“It’s vitally important on Saturday that they’re there and they back us; we have a responsibility to entertain them and excite them but we do appreciate their help and backing to help us through any difficult situation.
“It’s a local derby, we’ll need them to out-shout the opposition, and hopefully together it will be another positive result.”