Richard Dunne has urged Queen’s Park Rangers to seize their second chance when they face Wigan Athletic tonight for a place in the Championship play-off final.
Rangers were the favourites to win the title this season but they faltered after a bright start and had to settle for the lottery of the play-offs. Both they and Wigan are seeking an immediate return to the Premier League and the semi-final is delicately poised after a forgettable goalless draw at the DW Stadium on Friday.
“We wanted to win the league to start with, then we wanted to try to get that second place,” said Dunne. “As the season’s gone on we’ve been lucky I suppose that we’ve had a second chance but [tonight] there are no second chances, it’s all or nothing.
“Whatever pressure is on us, it’s important we rise to it and don’t be afraid of it. It’s good to have a bit of pressure and excitement about how big the game is.”
A major concern for Wigan manager Uwe Rösler will be their lack of goals, with the Latics having failed to score in three of their last five games.
Marc-Antoine Fortuné was the lone striker on Friday while leading scorer Nick Powell was not even on the bench. The on-loan Manchester United man, who has found the net 12 times this season, has not started a game in more than a month.
Powell had been struggling with illness but was available on Friday. Rösler said: “I selected a squad on merit, and I selected the players who have been performing best in games and in training, who are mentally and physically in the best form for this moment in the season.”