So the winning run comes to an end, and by rights it’s came in a game we could and should have won by a large margin.
Latics were simply un-playable against Portsmouth on Saturday and on another day would have been two or three goals up at half time. The fact we weren’t played right in to Pompey’s hands and even though we started the second half much like the first we still couldn’t find that elusive goal.
The sending off, a needless one changed the game and it was only a matter of time until Portsmouth equalised. We still should have won it at that point but it wasn’t to be our day, nonetheless the fact that we’re annoyed we only got a point shows you the progress the club have made in such a short time.
Under Paul Cook this Latics team go in to each game believing that they will win. It’s a complete contrast from Warren Joyce’s mantra of defend for your lives because we can’t compete.
It may not be a popular opinion but I travelled over to Blackpool on Tuesday and had a thoroughly enjoyable evening. It won’t get me many brownie points with the against modern football crowd but I believe the Football League trophy – the oft criticised Check-a-trade trophy is worth fighting for.
I fully commend those taking a stand and the B team boycott, indeed anyone found at the DW in November watching us against Middlesbrough U21’s need their heads testing but it still has a place for clubs of our size.
Many on all sides not just Wiganer’s champion an outright boycott, whereas I believe the best way to show the League is to pack out (comparatively speaking) the senior games and have virtually empty stadiums for the matches involving the U21 sides.
I’m sure people will disagree with me but we’ve a proud record in this competition and for clubs of our size who never had/have aspirations of getting to an FA Cup final it was a route to a Wembley final and a bit of prize money for clubs who often desperately need it.
The competition also offers invaluable senior minutes for clubs youngsters. Ironically that’s probably what attracted the competition to those in the Premier League. Tuesday saw Callum Lang, Luke Burgess, Chris Merrie and Josh Laurent get valuable minutes they wouldn’t necessarily have got.
Not to mention young Victor Maffeo who came on for the last 20 minutes, a 16 year old from Spain who impressed everyone in his short time on the pitch and actually scored the winning penalty.
Let’s hope the Football League see sense and end this needless vandalism of their own competition and return the football league trophy to it’s clubs.
I was disappointed and a little surprised to see our match with Northampton postponed last week. Mainly because I had booked the weekend off and a day round Wigan with BBC Sport’s resident Northampton fan Tom Rostance was in prospect. Also last time we were at this level we didn’t postpone any games for the International breaks.
I suspect Paul Cook doesn’t want to change his side if he can help it, so it’s a weekend free of football. Which is hell for us shift workers.
Still the transfer window can keep us all entertained today, as I write this we still have all of our big guns contracted to the club, but we all know how quickly that can change in a short space of time. If Paul Cook can keep hold of Nick Powell, Dan Burn, Michael Jacobs and indeed Will Grigg I think he’ll be delighted with how the transfer window has gone.
First published in the Wigan Post, Friday 1st September 2017
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