A point gained or two dropped?

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A point gained or two points dropped? It was another disappointing set of results on the road for Wigan Athletic this past week but the results don’t tell all of the story by a long stretch.

Following up on the excellent win over Nottingham Forest a couple of weeks ago Paul Cook would have been hoping for more from the two matches at Derby and Bristol City but despite the results there were encouraging signs. Latics could and should have taken six points from the last two matches, as it was we ended up with one but I felt heartened with the performances from both matches.

Let’s tackle the match at Pride Park first, like the match at Derby last season Latics could and should have been ahead early on. The first half performance was excellent and for better finishing we could have been two if not three goals ahead. As is so often the case we didn’t take our chances and then suffered an injury time sucker punch that was one of the cruellest ways for a side to lose.

Jamal Lowe spurned a number of glorious chances that would have seen us at least take a point back to Lancashire and low and behold the same thing would happen a few days later.

We’ve a decent enough record at Ashton Gate, we haven’t won there in a while but we’ve picked up some valuable points over the last few seasons and should have won at Ashton Gate back in 2016 under Gary Caldwell. Latics had once again been the better side in the opening exchanges against City, there was lots of intelligent build-up play and with better finishing could have been in front early on. After a City goal against the run of play Chey ‘stick him up front’ pulled Latics level before getting an amazing second goal to put Latics ahead away from home.

Could it last? No sadly it couldn’t, Gavin Massey spurned an amazing chance to make it 3-1 which really would have been the difference between a point and three points. In the end Latics would have to settle for a point, it was certainly two points dropped but Paul Cook and his side should be heartened by the last week.

The performances were impressive in both matches and there seems to have been a marked improvement in those away performances, if not the results. A good gauge of how we’ve done on the road is those supporters who’ve travelled to watch us away from home and what they think of their performances and from what I’ve seen at least there was a positive reaction to both matches.

It’s two consecutive matches back at home this week before the international break, what a difference two wins would make for us as we head in to the winter.

So it’s back home and it’s back on Sky this Saturday, we’re becoming quite the fixture on Sky Sports this season – let’s hope the coverage fares better than it did last Sunday were the last fifteen minutes of the Bristol City match was interrupted as the feed cut to a black screen and the commentary was replaced by commentary from the Formula One race.

Sean Livesey

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