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It’s been a welcome respite from the stress and strain of the league over the last couple of weeks. Normally I would be perplexed at the thought of an international break interrupting our season but if a break could come at the right time I think this was it.

Come Saturday afternoon I’ll be desperate to get back to it. Saturday is a huge match for Wigan Athletic, there’s no denying that. Our home form has been excellent so far this season, apart from the last match against Leeds.

Reading on paper at least offer the best opportunity for us to get back to winning ways. Reading haven’t reached the heights of their 2016/17 high where they narrowly missed out on promotion. Last season was a season of struggle, where they were lucky to retain their Championship status. This season looks to be following a similar pattern.

But it isn’t only about the opposition, Latics have been struggling badly recently. After twelve months of un-disputed success under Paul Cook we’ve hit our first extended bit of bad form.

If Latics had hung on and indeed capitalised when ahead against Millwall the outlook of the last few weeks could be very different. Instead it’s been a cold hard introduction to the winter for Wigan Athletic.

Defeat against Middlesbrough last time out was expected but disappointing all the same. Latics need wins, but we also need a decent performance. Injuries are hitting us hard, it’s no surprise that our downturn has coincided with the loss of Jacobs, Massey, Grigg and countless others.

If we can dig deep I’m sure we’ll come out of this bad spell the other side. Certainly with the spell of games we have ahead of us it would be the perfect time to turn our fortunes around.

With the uncertainty surrounding the takeover now finished with let’s hope deals for the likes of Nick Powell are just around the corner. Darren Royle certainly alluded to such earlier this week.

First published in the Wigan Post, Friday 23rd November 2018

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