12th Man: Another chapter in the FA Cup story

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As horrific as December was for Warren Joyce’s Wigan Athletic January has been a completely different matter. Whatever has changed for Joyce and his side it’s working.

The win against Brentford was our third win in a row, Joyce’s first home win in the league and probably the best performance I’ve seen under the new manager.

So many things about Saturday were right,  we outplayed one of the better footballing sides in the division and could have been 3 or 4 up long before Brentford got their consolation goal.

The catalyst for our recent up turn in fortunes could well be a certain Sam Morsy. His performances since he returned have been a key part in us getting those three wins and he repaid the faith in him by the manager with a virtuoso performance on Saturday.

All eyes turn to the FA Cup on Sunday afternoon as Wigan Athletic the 2013 winners travel to the current holders. Buoyed on by 3000 Wiganer’s at Old Trafford it should be a fantastic atmosphere. I’m not expecting us to get any sort of result against United. They’re in a great run of form and any side managed by Jose Mourinho will be well drilled.

But maybe I’m being too quick to dismiss our chances, it would be a fairytale for Warren Joyce to return to his former club and get one over his former employers but we’re well versed in fairytales. The last time we played one of the Manchester clubs saw us earn a return trip to Wembley under one Uwe Rosler. A win on Sunday would probably eclipse that achievement.

The one thing that could work in our favour is United’s match with Hull in the League Cup. Meaning we’ve had a full weeks rest where as United have had to concentrate on the league cup until Thursday.

The club have done their part ensuring so many can be at the game for an affordable price and once again should be commended on making football affordable. Questions remain why a struggling Championship club should have to subsidise the richest club in the world but that’s for another day.

Whatever happens as long as Latics put in a good display and do all they can for the shirt Latics fans will be happy.

Though it would be nice to add another chapter to the FA Cup story wouldn’t it?

Sean Livesey

First published in the Wigan Evening Post, Friday 27th January 2017

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