How great a feeling is it not to spend every day wondering whether or not your football club will survive? The pain of the last nine months won’t disappear in a hurry but the relief of the last week has been palatable, we’ve got to hold on to this feeling and try to harness that relief to get us over the finish line.
As the worries about our future off the pitch subside the worries of our future on the pitch rage on.
It’s not been a good week for Wigan Athletic if we’re being honest. As we’ve tightened up at the back since the heavy defeat to Accrington last month we seem to have lost our goal scoring touch at the other end of the pitch. Two performances against Gillingham and Portsmouth were Latics have been far the better side (especially against Gillingham) but failing to come away with a point or a goal in that period.
Mercifully results elsewhere have meant that Latics are still within a chance of avoiding back to back relegations, but results need to turn and goals need to return immediately. That task could now be much harder after the loss of Callum Lang on Monday afternoon thanks to a ridiculous challenge.
The Portsmouth player suffered a fractured cheekbone for his troubles but it took Lang out of the game and left an already struggling front line without their most likely outlet.
Worse than losing him from Monday’s game could be the potential two games out due to concussion (if indeed Lang has suffered from concussion) that will mean we’re left with Jamie Proctor and Joe Dodoo as our only recognised strikers.
Speaking of that challenge on Lang it’s been really disappointing if not terribly predictable to see the amount of decisions go against Wigan Athletic in recent weeks. Both against Gillingham and Portsmouth there were challenges that would have seen penalties awarded to Leam Richardson’s side that went completely against us.
These decisions can change the outcome of seasons and unless we start getting the rub of the green it’s going to lead to an outcome we don’t want.
Next up its Doncaster, a side with play-off aspirations but equally without a win in the last five games. If we’re to get out of this it’s the games against Doncaster, Crewe and Burton where we need to be targeting full points. Anything from the other four games is a bonus. We’re on to the home stretch now and we’re still within a chance.
We’d have all taken that back in November but we need a Wigan Athletic style revival in the next few weeks to secure that survival. Take note of the 2007,2011,2012 and 2019 vintages lads.
Aside from the matters on the pitch the revolution of our club thanks to the impressive Phoenix 2021 group continues apace. I was lucky enough to be invited to a supporters chat with new Chief Executive Mal Brannigan earlier this week. The fact that the new group don’t want to be invisible and want to actively engage with supporters can only be a good thing.
We had clear lines of communication in the past via Jonathan Jackson and it looks like Mal will continue in that spirit. A lot of things were discussed, many of those in the press already but I came away feeling thankful and hopeful that brighter days are indeed around the corner.
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