Wheater thrilled with goal

Defender speaks after notching the winner in Tuesday's derby victory over Blackpool

David Wheater may have scored his first goal in just over two years on Tuesday night against Blackpool, but the centre-back revealed he was simply happy to have kept a clean sheet.

Restored to Dougie Freedman’s starting eleven in place of the suspended Alex Baptiste, Wheater put in a man-of-the-match performance alongside Zat Knight as Wanderers secured a hard-fought victory over the Seasiders.

And while the game itself may not have been a classic, Wheater was impressed by the Whites’ defensive display and is confident that the result will put the side in good stead heading into another local derby this weekend against Wigan Athletic.

“It was a typical, hard-fought derby,” said Wheater. “I think we defended well.  With Ricardo Fuller you know you are going to get a big tussle and a hard game, but I think we coped well with Zat and me in the centre and Alan and Tim at full-back.

“It was a great to keep a clean sheet. It’s what us defenders go out for, to keep clean sheets and that’s what we achieved against Blackpool. Keeping clean sheets will win you the game because if you get a sneaky goal, like we did, then you’ll get all three points.”

Goals have been few and far between for the 27-year-old since he joined from Middlesbrough in January 2011, with Wheater registering just three league strikes since moving to BL6.

Not helped by a spell on the sidelines through injury last season, fans would have to go back to March 2012 for the last time the centre-back scored in a Wanderers shirt – a brace in a 2-1 derby win against Blackburn Rovers.

Delighted to finally end his drought, Wheater is already eyeing a potential second goal of the season, hopeful he can continue his derby goal scoring form into Saturday’s encounter with Wigan.

“It was a great finish,” the defender joked. “Seriously though, I just got on the end of it, all the credit must go to Jay because it was a great corner from him. 

“I like deliveries like that - just stick it in the middle and let everyone pile in and attack. I think they’re the best ones. Thankfully we got one like that which I got on the end of, and luckily it went in. 

“We’ll approach the game against Wigan the same way we approached the Blackpool match and we believe that we’re capable of getting all three points. 

“As a defender we’ll be aiming to keep another clean sheet and then hopefully one of the strikers, or maybe even one of us, can pop up at the other end and score the decisive goal.”     

Watch David's full post-match interview by clicking the video below.

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