Goal to slay the dragon
Sky Bet League 1 leaders Leyton Orient visit Boundary Park with Latics' challenge to 'slay the dragon' and inflict their first league defeat of the 2013/14 campaign.
Lee Johnson is confident saying his players have trained well this week and it is now simply a case of transferring that on to the pitch.
"It is about taking that into the game and dealing with the pressures of the crowd, intensity of the game and importance of getting a positive result," explained Latics’ manager.
Johnson says his side, which has posted only two league victories, cannot keep talking about bad luck and the team must improve as well as himself.
He explained: "Long term, I know we are going in the right direction, but it is frustrating the life out of me at the moment. I say stick with us and it will come good.
"We are not far away and it is the little edges and that extra five-per-cent when it comes to throwing bodies on the line."
Johnson is unhappy with their points total believing they could easily have doubled their total of seven points from nine league games – they would have lifted the team into the top 10.
And looking at the bigger picture, Johnson says his side has been competitive in every game.
He continued: "It is important we get the first goal because we have been chasing seven or eight games.
"There is a different perception of how you are playing when you are one behind or one up. You can get away with a bad 10 minutes when you are 1-0 up, but not when you are 1-0 behind you can't.
"It makes you tense and you make rash decisions, something I know from my playing days. We need to play every game as though we are 1-0 up."
Johnson believes Orient are being rewarded for having a settled group admitting it will be a difficult game.
He said: "They are having an unbelievable run and, when that happens, confidence is up, everybody loves each other and there is a buzz about the club.
"The pressure for them now is can they sustain it? They cannot afford to become complacent which is the key.
"We have to slay our own dragon which is to get the win and also the dragon which is top of the league and flying."
April 27th, 2013: Leyton Orient 1, Latics 1
October 20th, 2012: Latics 2, Leyton Orient 0
September 28th, 2013: Crawley Town 1, Latics 0
September 28th, 2013: Leyton Orient 1, Walsall 1.
Latics have Cristian Montano and Genseric Kusunga back after injury, but David Mellor is still out as he completes a three-match ban. The O’s have an enforced change in midfield as Romain Vincelot starts a suspension following last Saturday’s sending off.
Adam Rooney (3) for Latics. David Mooney (9) for Latics.
MAN TO WATCH
Striker David Rooney is bang in form and League One’s leading marksman with nine goals including four in his last four games. He and co-striker have already bagged 17 goals between them.
Charlie MacDonald was a Leyton Orient player until the end of the 2012/13 season while O’s defender Nathan Clarke is a former Latics’ loanee.
George Hill Main Stand Upper: Adults £20, concessions £10 George Hill Main Stand Lower: Adults £19, concessions £9
Ambulant disabled and wheelchair users are £20 with free carer.
Zen Office Chaddy End: Adults £20, concessions £10, under-12's £5.
The Verlin Stand: Adults £20, concessions £10, under-12's £5.