A tale of two away games

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I can safely say I’ve never seen anything as dismal as that performance at Blackburn on Saturday. The only matches that even come close were a few of those that immediately preceded it.

I am just one voice, some bloke who has done quite a bit of writing about the club he loves over the past 30 years. I get accused online quite a lot indirectly of a lot of things, the only printable one being “having an agenda” whatever that means.

Yet the fact is that I quickly become irrelevant when my sole penned thoughts become far outweighed by the scenes off mass discontent at both Blackburn and Forest at home when it felt like the whole crowd was turning on the manager and his ultra-cautious tactics.

It has not been a happy camp in recent weeks but somehow, we are still fighting following a gritty display at Birmingham and an (accidentally?) more attacking line up.

To try and capture up the mood of the wider fanbase is difficult and understand the malaise given the many contrary opinions out there but I don’t think that significant majority are demanding that much. We want to see a team that is set up to go for it and at least attempts to get in the opposition half and score goals as we are fighting for our lives and draws are no use whatsoever.

If we assume that Birmingham are safe then the two six pointers either side against Forest and Blackburn have yielded just one point and ceded four to our relegation rivals. With Bristol City also now sucked into the quicksand as well, then we really need to win this game and win it well for once.

It’s perhaps not overdramatic to suggest that the whole future of the club is at stake over the next few games at home. Just like two years ago, mainly due to the way we set up, home wins have been non-existent.

There is no doubt we will see a significant drop in season ticket holders next year who feel somewhat cheated by the complete absence of goals and wins on offers, which will ultimately affect budget in future years and the general appetite of the Whelan family to put money in to keep us going.

By all means let’s go away to Newcastle and Brighton and look to keep it tight but to do the same at home is inexcusable and a recipe for trouble. Wigan nil is no use. A draw is no use, it will only maintain the status quo, which is that we are going down.

Given we have to play the aforementioned two, plus I doubt Reading or Leeds will be in forgiving mood unless they are safely in the play offs then the bottom half battles are absolutely critical. And because we are currently in the weakest position of the strugglers, then we really are at the do or die stage. So for Liddell’s sake, let’s play like it!

Article first published in the Wigan Evening Post’s 12th Man column on Friday 10th March 2017.  If you want to find some more of Jimmy’s thoughts on the current situation at Latics, as well as some stuff that’s not quite as depressing then you can find them on The Pie at Night Podcast.  Episode 20 is now available on your favoured podcast app or by listening on the player below.




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