Dropping to third place in the table and suffering a damaging defeat on the South Coast wasn’t exactly the way Latics expected to round off the Easter Weekend.
Especially when Paul Cook’s side had returned to the top of the table in blistering fashion on Friday afternoon.
If the loss to Portsmouth showcased the worst of Latics this season, Oldham was a completely different story. Three goals from a clinical Latics side was a world away from what we saw on Monday night.
Portsmouth bullied us on Monday, the referee didn’t help with some questionable decisions but he isn’t the only reason Latics travelled back to the North West without any points. All season long we have struggled against the sides who are physical in nature, those who try to rough us up and sadly on Monday we fell in to Portsmouth’s hands.
But in this ridiculous fight to the finish for promotion there will still be more ups and downs. Shrewsbury had their slip up on Friday with defeat to relegation threatened Rochdale. Blackburn although it looks unlikely at the moment will slip up again, that’s the nature of this league and that’s why we have to ensure that we don’t suffer defeat again this season.
This is where the games in hand play an important role, without those games in hand Monday’s loss could have been far more damaging. As it is we still have promotion within our grasp and in our own hands.
Maybe a loss like Monday is what’s needed to focus the minds ahead of the run-in? Next up is the franchise side from Milton Keynes. Similarly to Oldham they’re fighting at the wrong end of the table but have class amongst they’re ranks.
We need to be on the front foot and show that the Portsmouth defeat was simply a blip. If we can get six points from the next two games against Milton Keynes and Rochdale we’ll still be on track.
There’s a long way to go yet, let’s not panic.
First published in the Wigan Post, Friday 6th April 2018.
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