Finishing line in sight

Nearly there, the finishing line is in sight we’re that close.

Tuesday was a difficult match, no doubt about it. Oxford under Karl Robinson are a different prospect to the Oxford we faced in December. Gone are the open free flowing football side we faced and in its place are a carbon copy of Robinson’s Charlton side – that we also faced in December.

Time wasting from the first minute, cynical fouls all over the pitch and very little in the way of attacking enterprise from the opposition and it very nearly worked for them too. That is until Devante Cole and Will Grigg combined to give Latics all three points. I and I’m sure many other Wiganer’s thought our chance to extend the lead at the top of the league had gone until Cole broke in to the box and squared the ball to his striker partner on the left.

Devante Cole deserves some credit, he’s been very unlucky to find himself on the side-lines since his arrival from Fleetwood, one of the leading scorers in the division when he arrived he hasn’t had a chance. But when you look at Will Grigg and James Vaughan’s performances since the turn of the year you can understand why. Hopefully Cole will have a part to play in the last four games of the season and can leave his mark going in to next year.

The relief at that goal going in was massive, and although a draw wouldn’t have been disastrous in our search for promotion it would have been a blow and leave us looking over our shoulder at both Blackburn and Shrewsbury. As it is we know that we’ve got the upper hand, if we keep ahead of the opposition we’ll be promoted.

It’s amazing to think that we’ve already hit the 90 point mark but haven’t yet had promotion confirmed, it looks as though Shrewsbury’s defeat to Charlton could well finish off their automatic promotion hopes. It’s sad to see Shrewsbury falter at this stage in the proceedings, mainly because I’d much prefer an away day in Shrewsbury next season than Blackburn but if their struggles see us promoted I’m not too sure many of us will be complaining.

Promotion could well be sealed this weekend depending on results elsewhere, and what a way to celebrate. With over a thousand Wiganer’s on the Fylde coast along with those hearty souls including Emmerson Boyce who are walking all the way to Fleetwood in aid of Joseph’s Goal.

The lads have looked tired in the last couple of games against Rotherham and Oxford, which isn’t surprising considering how much effort has been put in over the course of the season. If they can squeeze every last ounce out over the last four games we will be promoted and Paul Cook will have well exceeded any expectations that I had of what we could achieve at the start of the season.

It’s nearly there, four more to go. Let’s help the lads over the line.

Sean Livesey

First published in the Wigan Post, Friday 20th April 2018

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