12th Man: The cards we’ve been dealt

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Warren JoyceConsidering the last two games were seen as must win for Warren Joyce and Wigan Athletic things couldn’t have gone much worse.

 From flirting with relegation when Joyce arrived to it looking a near certainty unless something changes quickly. The knives looked to be out for the manager after the Rotherham game.

Although the aforementioned knives were out Joyce won’t be going anywhere anytime soon. That well flaunted three and a half year contract will see to that. But how our two next games pan out could have a serious bearing on how much Joyce is backed in the January sales.

Those two games are against the two in form sides in the league in Derby and Huddersfield. Huddersfield are once again flying at the top of the division and won’t make the same mistakes they did a month ago whilst Derby are in excellent form since the return of Steve McClaren and could well be on for a return to the Premier League.

One thing concerning me along with the results lately is the constant talking down of the squad since Warren Joyce arrived. I’m not having it that Rotherham have a stronger squad than we do. Better forwards than Will Grigg, better creative midfielders than Jordi Gomez and better attackers than Yanic Wildschut.

That’s the crux of the matter though, supporters and management alike thought we had a squad more than good enough to compete at this level across the summer. Now that squad is no where near good enough and the current manager is complaining about the ‘cards he’s been dealt’.

I think that’s a bit of a red herring to mask poor results since the new manager arrived. If the squad is so poor we can expect another expensive refresh of the squad next month and hopefully then we can finally get it right. Again.

First published in the Wigan Evening Post, Friday 30th December 2016

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