Wigan Athletic Steve Bruce is facing up to the possibility of ‘kicking-on` the season and the possibility of a top ten finish and even a chance of challenging for European qualification.
Bruce says last weeks win at Sunderland was a massive result for the Latics and after going 8 games with four draws and four losses it was good to turn the corner but it is also important for the player not to switch off now that Premier League safety is all but guaranteed, Bruce told reporters:
‘It was a big win for us because of what happened in January with the transfers in and out and a horrible run of fixtures’
‘It has got us up and running but it has got us to a stage – which is the one thing we don’t want to do – where everyone thinks 38 points is going to be enough.
‘I don’t want us to get into a situation where psychologically we switch off.
‘I had it at Birmingham in my second year we were in the top six all year and then we got to the magical mark and everyone then relaxed and started thinking about next season.
‘We didn’t win any of our last eight games and had to go to Blackburn to get a point to finish in the top 10.
‘Looking back I learned from it and realised I shouldn’t be preparing for next season and I’ll not let it happen this year.’
Bruce sees the closing games of the season as a chance to put the icing on the cake for what has been a great 12 months for the Latics but warns that grabbing the European spot would be an almighty achievement especially with Spurs putting some good form together and coming up on the rails, he added:
‘With nine games to go it would be nice to kick on. If we can get a win against Hull it would be a fantastic platform from where we could go and enjoy and express ourselves
‘A finish in the top 10 would be fantastic. I think anyone who has watched us for six or seven months will know we have been highly competitive.
‘There is still an outside chance (of a European place) but we have to look at the big teams behind us.
‘Tottenham are putting a hell of a run together, which I would have expected, and there’s Manchester City also.
‘It would be a remarkable story if we could get there and do it and we will give it the best shot we can – on paper we have a decent run-in.’
Bruce also warns that Hull wont be no pushovers and that he is impressed by their recent performances especially the games against Fulham and Arsenal, Bruce finished off with:
‘They got a magical result at Fulham. I would have feared for them had they not got that in the last minute
‘Getting the result at Fulham has given them their edge back. I went to watch them against Arsenal (in the FA Cup) on Tuesday and they were highly competitive.
‘They are having a right good go at it to try to make sure they remain Premier League players.
‘They have a good chance and they will be looking at Sunday’s match as a very good opportunity too.’
Latics Speyk Podcast 5 Now Available
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This episode talks to Latics fans Andrew Peredi and Dave Skully via the phone-in, features up and coming star Blackburn`s own Megan Ellison, opinions on the Sunderland game and the chance of European football for next season, with music from The Kooks, Jilted John, Jimi Hendrix and the one and only Megan Ellison.
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