Dominance means goals (hopefully)

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So two matches, a second defeat of the season and another chance to bounce back – last time Latics experienced defeat they went on to win the next three with seven goals for and zero goals conceded. If STAT isn’t enough for you Paul Cook’s side have taken 22 points from their first 10 games, repeated over a season that would see Paul Cook’s side finish on a 101 points.

Yet there is still room for improvement, I wasn’t at Peterborough on Saturday but it sounded a microcosm of our season so far – completely dominate the opposition, lay siege to their goal yet still not get the rewards our dominance warranted. In this case it wasn’t even enough to get a point, that sucker punch of a late defeat after we had managed to snatch a draw from the jaws of victory will hurt for a while.

Tuesday’s match with Plymouth followed much the same path, we battered Plymouth who put up a fantastic defensive display to keep us out as long as they did. It isn’t the wonder wins of 4-0, 5-0 etc that get you promoted at the end of the season but the hard fought wins over sides like Plymouth and there was relief around Robin Park on Tuesday as Nick Powell’s penalty gave us all three points.

Again it should and could have been more but I’m sure the goals to match our dominant performances are just around the corner, Walsall on Saturday will be another difficult task but it is the type of home game we need to be winning to keep up with our promotion rivals. Walsall come in to the game on the back of a decent run of form, they’ve taken 5 points from their last 3 matches without tasting defeat. Speaking of Walsall, I’ll never forget their manager Jon Whitney saying that he believed they would finish above us during our promotion season in 2015/16. I’m as surprised as anyone that we’re back facing Jon and his Walsall team again but with any luck we’ll have a similar result to the last time we played them, and managed to annoy Jon so much in the process.

It looks like the Scunthorpe match next month won’t fall foul of the international break after Lee Evans was surprisingly left out of Chris Coleman’s Welsh squad for the next round of World Cup qualifiers. With only Sam Morsy and Owen Evans as other potential call-ups due to Michael O’Neill’s omission of Will Grigg from the Northern Ireland squad Latics should be travelling to Glanford Park a week on Saturday. Momentum is a big thing at this level and I think we were damaged by the postponement of the Northampton match earlier this month so being able to face Scunthorpe with a good bit of momentum behind us should be a good thing.

Our home form in particular has been excellent of late, let’s see if the lads can keep it up on Saturday.

Sean Livesey

First published in the Wigan Post, Friday 29 September 2017

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