4-1 + 4-1 + ?-?

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Boselli, McManaman, Miyachi and Stam. Gomez and Figueroa screamers. Mauro mullering defences and banging them in for fun. Putting European Cup winners and (ahem) World Cup Winners to the sword in a convincing manner. Makes you wonder why we’re struggling in the league really? Well, you’ve seen the highlights now watch them live.

After two stunning performances on the road versus Nottingham Forest and West Ham watched by a faithful few hundred, isn’t it time we repaid their faith by turning out to cheer them on in numbers at home? A victory could see Wigan Athletic in the quarter finals of the Capital One Cup, a mere one game away from a two legged semi final and a potential trip to Wembley. We’d just need to avoid Arsenal in the next round. And Tottenham. And Liverpool. And United/Chelsea. And come to think of it Sunderland have been a bit of a bogey side since O’Neill took over. But then therein lies the magic…

For a few years, I’ve seen Wigan Athletic fans turn their noses up at cup games because all we see is heartless reserve team performances. If they can’t be bothered then why should I? It’s a fair criticism but this season our “reserves” have been playing some scintillating football and scoring some spectacular goals, so what’s the excuse now? Yes I know disappointment is only ever around the corner, hiding in it’s cheap Parka waiting to leap out and bludgeon the ever flowing cup of optimism and throw it into a ditch but we are Wigan Athletic, a team with a valiant cup tradition going back many decades and the players have been doing their bit this year, so now we, the fans, need to snap up those ten pound tickets and welcome the team home by getting behind them and who knows, maybe another performance like the two previous rounds awaits?

We’re in for a tough game next Tuesday, of that there is no doubt. Bradford are resurgent under Phil Parkinson after having been in the doldrums for way too long. They are a club we have many connections with, most recently Mike Flynn and a few years back, one Robert Campbell Esquire.

Bradford are bringing a large, passionate travelling support and have already sold out their allocation. Their players will want to measure themselves against an established Premier League team and will play out of their skins. They will need no encouragement but they will get it anyway. Will our fans be doing the same? Or will they be keeping the tenners in their pocket only to be produced should we progress to the final when the inevitable, embarassing stampede for ticket occurs? To think, we criticise rugby fans for this but you know and I know it would happen in the unlikely event of us ever getting to a major cup final again.

We know the cups are low priority but here is an opportunity to show that we support Wigan Athletic, not just Wigan Athletic in the Premier League. We follow Wigan Athletic: the team, the club, 1932 to the present day; and given affordable ticket prices, we will turn out in decent numbers to cheer them on in the hope that we can continue our cup run through to the quarter finals.

I am sure if Bradford turn up and dump us out of the cup, some people will sit at home all smug and round on the overpaid players and tactically useless manager. Cup upsets happen, but at least let’s play our part and if the worst comes to the worst, we can concentrate on the league. Staying in it that is.

Anyway, off my soap box. Tickets for next Tuesday’s game are just £10 for adults and £5 for all concessions. And if 50 people click this link, I get my ticket free*

Furthermore if you are a fan of the Big Irishman mentioned above and recently voted number 23 in the TNS Top 50  – and I know I am, look out for the special “Curry and Campbell” dinner the club are hosting in tribute to the great man.

*I don’t really, calm down mr angry comment man

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