Getting tight at the bottom

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I think we can describe that as a successful week can’t we? Two points were four probably should have been the result.

Either way Latics are now unbeaten in three matches, unbeaten at home since January and have a much stronger looking side than we had at the start of the year thanks to signings but more importantly players returning from injury.

There’s a six point gap between us and the relegation zone now, which could be crucial as we take a week off this weekend due to the progress of Frank Lampard’s Derby County (c) in the FA Cup.

Results went against us this week, who would have thought Bolton would snatch a win at play-off chasing Birmingham? And then for Reading to snatch a win at the death against Blackburn shows just how tight it’s getting at the bottom of the table as we enter the final quarter of the season.

Back to last night’s game, it was end to end stuff for the first 20 minutes and we should have been ahead at the half time stage. After the game we rode our luck but defended well to ensure we at least got a point. There’s been a bit of frustration at the result across social media, which I can understand but equally when you’re in a dog fight every point counts and I think that’s a game that we could have easily lost a month or so ago.

Stoke are a side full of talent, full of internationals, expensive signings and ex-Premier League players. Regardless of how they’ve fared this season I think a return of four points against them is a good return.

Our big issue still as it has been all season is our away form, a point at Rotherham last week was probably a fair result. Especially considering the physical onslaught we were under, but if we had even picked up just a couple of wins away from home we would be in a much healthier position of the table.

Luckily for us we’ve two home games up next – Ipswich is very much in the must win category with promotion chasing Middlesbrough up a week later. Ipswich look as good as gone, despite a point in midweek so we really do need to get back to winning ways against Paul Lambert’s side. Especially as we lost out to them back in December.

Paul Cook revealed the lads were off on a warm weather training trip later this week, with a friendly scheduled for Saturday. It brought to mind the anger that such a trip generated amongst the #wafc faithful on twitter when Roberto planned a similar trip in 2011, with Latics languishing in the bottom three.

Who could forget the fury as Gary Caldwell and Franco di Santo were pictured diving in to the pool? ‘No one gives me a holiday for being c*ap at my job’ one informed individual commented. Let’s hope this training camp has the desired effect and the 2019 incarnation of Wigan Athletic can move up the table to Championship safety.

Sean Livesey

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