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Johnson Praises Character Of Team After Victory

11 February 2015

Manager Lee Johnson felt his game plan paid off as his side ran out 2-1 winners against second-placed Swindon Town.

Two goals in a minute from Mike Jones and Conor Wilkinson gave Latics a dream start to the game. 

Massimo Luongo pulled a goal back for the Robins in the second half but Latics managed to hang on for victory which put them into fifth position in Sky Bet League One.

Speaking after the game, Johnson said: "It was always going to be a tough game. We do our research on the opposition and we can see that they are a top side. They are a top half Championship side, minimum. 

"It was going to be like a cup game and I said to the lads that we were going to have to shut down in the first half an hour like your lives depended on it because that was our chance. 

"I thought our boys were superb. It was always going to be a character win, it was never going to be a stroll out and win the game. It was full of runners and really good concentration.

"It was fantastic to score two quick goals on 10 and 11 minutes and we did shut down but eventually they are so comfortable on the ball that there is nothing you can do. I always felt that they are good enough to score two or three goals so that third goal would have been important for us.

"We pressed really well because we talked about the triggers. They do take the ball sometimes in tight areas and they leave themselves exposed if you can win the ball back so it's their achilles heel at times."

On his return to Park, Wilkinson scored and assisted Jones in his opening goal of the game but his night was cut short through injury. 

"It was a tight hamstring but it was only precautionary as he was carrying it from the last game," admitted Johnson. "We will get him in the cryotherapy so we can freeze anything out of it. 

Latics face Colchester United on Saturday rounding off five fixtures in 15 days and the gaffer spoke about that upcoming game. 

"We need to rest the boys now. We got a couple of niggles and we need to wrap them up in cotton wool. We need to get a level of energy out that is conducive to get everyone buzzing," he said.

"We are going to need to everybody and hopefully we'll have a bumper crowd with that fantastic offer. Fair play to everyone who have put that on and hopefully everyone will be behind it and behind us. 

"It's exciting times ahead. Let's not get frustrated, let's enjoy it. We have picked up two fantastic wins and we'll give it everything to make it three."

Watch the full interview on Latics Player. 

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