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Stephens Relishing Wigan Challenge

22 February 2014

Dale Stephens says Albion are relishing the upcoming clash against play-off rivals Wigan Athletic. 

New manager Uwe Rosler has rejuvenated Wigan, who leapfrogged Albion in the table with a 2-0 win over Barnsley on Tuesday - but Stephens says he and his teammates have the opportunity to wrestle back the initiative from the visitors. 

He told, “It’s a massive game because they are close to us in the table so it’s a great opportunity – if we get the right result.”  

“These are the types of games we want to play in and we’re in the right place in the table to put some distance between them and us. 

“They’re a good side and they play good football. They’ve got Premier League players in the team and they showed last week they can still compete at that level.  They beat Cardiff so we’ve got to take them very seriously."  

The January transfer window signing also highlighted the importance of staying resilient at the back adding, “We’re keeping clean sheets and in this division that’s key. 

“The more clean sheets we keep, the more chances we have of winning games and while we haven’t been scoring too many, we have bundles of quality. 

“If we can keep the goals out of one end then I’m sure we can pick up more at the other.

“We’ve been very solid since I arrived and we’ve been playing well at home and long may that continue."

Stephens is cup-tied for the Hull game

Meanwhile Stephens believes Albion should be confident of securing a win at Hull City on Monday in their FA Cup replay – even though he is disappointed to be cup-tied.

“I knew before I signed that I wouldn’t be involved in the FA Cup so it was disappointing as it’s a great competition to be involved in, but I watched the game [last week] and the lads did really well.

“It was a little disappointing not to get the victory in the end but we’ll go up there confident that we can do the job. 

“It was live on TV and everyone knows what this club is about now and the style of football that we play – but it was only half a job and we’ll go there looking to put it right.”

Albion v Wigan:
Saturday 22nd February, kick-off 3pm
Albion v Reading:
Saturday 8th March, kick-off 3pm
Albion v QPR:
Tuesday 11th March, kick-off 7.45pm
Albion v Ipswich Town:
Saturday 22nd March, kick-off 3pm

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