New boy Cal­lum is real deal

The Football League Paper - - CHAMPIONSHIP - By Stephen Thirkill

DE­LIGHTED Wi­gan boss War­ren Joyce sang the praises of debu­tant de­fender Cal­lum Con­nolly af­ter the Lat­ics’ cru­cial 2-0 win at Bur­ton.

The Eng­land Un­der-19 de­fender bagged both goals just hours af­ter join­ing Wi­gan’s rel­e­ga­tion fight on a sea­son-long loan from Ever­ton.

His brace earned the Lan­cashire side their first league win in eight to move them to within three points of safety.

Joyce said: “When you look at a player you look at the qual­i­ties that they have.

“We are not a big side and it’s im­por­tant we have full-backs who can head the ball.

“Full credit to him for his en­thu­si­asm and brav­ery that helped get us the points.

“I’ve fol­lowed him for a long time and he is a player who has al­ways been com­pet­i­tive, ag­gres­sive and solid.

“He is the type of player that we need to bring in to do the job we want.”

De­spite the vic­tory, Joyce was keen to play down the sig­nif­i­cance of win­ning the rel­e­ga­tion six-pointer.

“It’s an im­por­tant three points, but it is just three points,” he added.

“We have got some mo­men­tum but we have to keep work­ing hard on the ba­sics from now un­til the end of sea­son.

“As long as we have the ef­fort and con­sis­tency we will have a chance.”

The strug­gling Brew­ers have now lost four straight home games and dis­ap­pointed boss Nigel Clough knows his side must put their poor form be­hind them quickly.

“It’s a frus­trated dress­ing room, we have given away two soft goals at bad times and you can’t win games when you give those goals away,” he said.

“The play­ers have to un­der­stand that when added time goes up you can­not con­cede.

“The sec­ond goal de­flated ev­ery­one and it was hard for the play­ers to pick them­selves up.

“All that mat­ters is the next 20 games. We are in a rel­e­ga­tion fight, we knew we would be from day one, and we have to keep bat­tling.

“We have to move on and we have to make sure we are not one of the teams in the bot­tom three.”

The win was richly de­served for gritty Wi­gan, who soaked up Bur­ton pres­sure with ease thanks to a com­mand­ing dis­play from the back four.

Michael Ja­cobs had an ef­fort saved by Jon McLaugh­lin be­fore Max Power whis­tled one wide as Wi­gan en­joyed the best of the early chances.

Chris O’Grady saw a goal­bound shot cleared to safety by Stephen Warnock in the 38th minute.

Will Grigg then curled an ef­fort just wide as the Lat­ics launched an im­me­di­ate counter-at­tack.

Wi­gan hit the front when debu­tant Cal­lum Con­nolly headed home from close range in first-half stop­page time.

Warnock bravely blocked an O’Grady shot min­utes af­ter the restart as Al­bion came out with re­newed pur­pose.

But the Brew­ers strug­gled to con­vert pos­ses­sion into chances with Jamie Ward’s mis­cued shot the best they could of­fer 20 min­utes into the sec­ond half.

And they were made to pay when man-of-the-match Con­nolly headed home a Ja­cobs cross for his sec­ond of the match.

Matty Palmer skied an ef­fort with three min­utes left to sum up a poor and unin­spir­ing Al­bion per­for­mance.

PIC­TURES: ProS­ports/Richard Holmes

CAL TO OR­DER: Cal­lum Con­nolly cel­e­brates his two goals ROAD TO NOWHERE: Wi­gan Ath­letic de­fender Cal­lum Con­nolly stops Bur­ton striker Chris O’Grady in his tracks

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