12th Man: Omar the difference?

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That New Year bump that had seen us clamber our way out of the relegation zone feels a hell of a long time ago now.

The previous weekend couldn’t have been any more disastrous for Latics, a lacklustre performance and defeat against Sheffield Wednesday on Friday night was followed by a set of results on Saturday afternoon that plunged Latics right back in to serious relegation trouble.

All of our relegation rivals including Burton, Blackburn, Bristol Rovers, Nottingham Forest, Wolves and Ipswich Town all managed to pick up positive results at the weekend – leaving us six points from safety, five after the draw with Norwich on Tuesday.

All the good that we saw at the start of January, prior to the Manchester United game seemed to have disappeared again against Sheffield Wednesday. It was a display that felt ponderous and all too defensive again. It feels like we’re beginning to run out of time again, defensive football is all well and good.

Indeed we look a lot stronger defensively under Warren Joyce and the best sides are always said to build from the back but equally you need to combine that with decent attacking play. Playing the percentages can only get you so far, especially when you still concede poor goals as we did on Friday night.

So it was heartening to see a much better attacking display on Tuesday against Norwich – there was a feeling of here we go again on Tuesday after Norwich went ahead but a brilliant double from new boy Omar Bogle seemed to set us on our way to three points.

It was a shame we failed to hold on for a much needed three points but a point is still better than none and if we can go to Craven Cottage on Saturday and get an un-expected win it will be an even better point but fail to start picking up wins again soon may see us cut off from the rest.

The much heralded return of Yanic Wildshcut was less of an event that many would have expected, it seems Yanic hasn’t got off to the most impressive of starts down in Norfolk. With a £7m price tag on his head a lot will be expected from him. As it was Omar Bogle quite rightly stole all the headlines, if he can pick up a few more goals between now and May the 7th he may well be the difference between us playing in the Championship or League One next season.

Sean Livesey

First published in the Wigan Evening Post, Friday 10th February 2017

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