MJ Williams was happy to help out in Wanderers’ back line as he prepares for another test of the Whites’ defensive durability.
Williams stepped into the breach at Oxford on Saturday after Luke Mbete was added to Wanderers’ injury list to become the fourth central defender unavailable to Wanderers’ boss Ian Evatt.
The new-look defence chalked up another clean sheet – a 20th of the season – at the Kassam Stadium, with Williams playing a key role in a battling 1-0 win over the U’s on his first league start since the end of December.
“It’s been a long time since I’ve played 90 minutes so the body towards the end was a little bit tired. But I’m ready to go now and keep performing,” said Williams, who dropped back from his usual midfield role to play as a central defender for the first time since his Rochdale days.
“It’s probably three or four years since I played there but I had great belief in myself to play in that position.
“I did a couple of sessions out on the pitch and got used to it again and I had the help of Jonno and Geth, and Traff behind me as well, that got me through the game.
“Eighteen months ago we would probably be looking around thinking ‘who’s going to step in?’
“But we’ve got a such good squad here and we’ve worked together for a while. That’s only going to benefit us and we’re all together and going to fight for each other.
“It was a great defensive display. I enjoyed it and hopefully we can carry on those clean sheets.”
Wanderers will be seeking a third successive shut-out on the road when they go to Burton Albion tonight (Tuesday).
The Brewers are likely to offer a tough test after a string of big results on their own ground – where they beat the Whites last season thanks to three goals in the opening 20 minutes.
And Williams knows Wanderers will have to be prepared to scrap for every inch as they look to extend an unbeaten five-game run and stay well placed in the League One play-off race.
“Last season was a really bad day for us, but I think since then we’ve come a long way,” he added.
“We did reflect a lot on that game and it’s down to us now to go and prove that. We’re going to have to match them in every department and I’m sure we’re ready for that.
“I know we’re in a different position to what we were last season and we’ll go there and fight for everything and hopefully come away with the three points.
“We love to play good football but there are going to be times when you’re going to have to suffer. It’s that time of the season now where the results are the most important thing and getting it over the line and hopefully getting in the play-offs.”