Westlake timing it right

TO be in the right place at the right time can be down to good fortune.But when a midfielder turns up in precisely the right spot to hammer in a goal four times in five games, that has to be more than just coincidence.

TO be in the right place at the right time can be down to good fortune, writes Derek Davis.

But when a midfielder turns up in precisely the right spot to hammer in a goal four times in five games, that has to be more than just coincidence.

Ian Westlake puts it down to timing, and a little help from the now departed Alan Mahon who is helping Wigan try and reach the automatic promotion place which is also craved by Ipswich.

Town midfielder Westlake played a crucial part in the opening goal against Preston and then popped up to make sure of all three points with a goal in time added on – his fourth in five games.


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The run started at Coventry City where Westlake went on as a substitute and against Bradford, Westlake arrived eight yards out to meet a Darren Bent pull back and turned in with his left foot.

Last week at Burnley, Westlake scored in similar fashion, when again, he made the run towards Bent and banged in the pass from 10 yards out.

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On Saturday he was about 12 yards out, same side of the box and after more good work from Bent, who found Wilnis, Westlake was on hand to control the pass and shoot past a beaten Jonathan Gould.

Westlake said: "It was a good delivery after great work from Fabian down the right and I took a touch before passing it into the corner."

That was the 20-year-old's sixth goal of the season, and his third in a row, helped by his former Academy team-mate Bent.

He said: "It is about timing. The first two goals were down to Benty doing well down the right and pulling it back. I know what he is going to do and make the runs early so I'm arriving at the right time.

"All I have to then do is just hit the target because I'm so close the keeper has not got time to react."

Although he has gained from being taken out of the firing line at times, Westlake is relishing his involvement once again.

He said: "Things are going well and I have not had a goal-scoring run like this since I was really young and playing for Clacton.

"Things have been a lot better this season than I predicted. I just hoped to be in around the team but I'm playing regularly. Alan Mahon and people like that have helped me and I have learned from them and improved my game."

Just as many of his team-mates did, Westlake looked fresher for the four-day trip to Tenerife and welcomed the break.

He said: "It definitely helped me to have that rest period. We all looked fresh today. We were very strong at the and it was good to get that clean sheet. There have been tired legs lately so this has helped. But now we have to carry that on.

"It was a shame we lost at Burnley, especially as the results went our way. So it was important to win against Preston and put in a decent performance."

Westlake shrugged off the controversy surrounding Town's first goal and said he had not seen any handball as he was concentrating on making a clean strike. He said: "I just watched the ball come to me and I hit it and it was a really good touch by Tommy to steer it in." For Westlake, who could have made it as an international water-polo player, it was just another case of someone being in the right place at the right time – and there was nothing fortunate about that.

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