It’s a return to home comforts again for Latics this weekend with hopefully the added bonus of a boost to the side with the potential return of Josh Windass and Anthony Pilkington to Paul Cook’s ranks. It was another under par performance from Cook’s men at Hull last week but we did get a point and Joe Gelhardt announced himself in the best possible fashion.
A point away from home isn’t to be sniffed at in the Championship but in the mire we’re currently in it isn’t enough, if we had a couple more wins on the board a point would have been seen as a decent result but as it is it definitely feels like two points dropped rather than one gained.
Charlton have made a fantastic start to the season, their return to the Championship has seen them join early pace setters Leeds at the top of the division. In contrast to our own form it’s us who look like the newly promoted side and Charlton the seasoned Championship pros. So we’ve had two weeks of un-changed sides but could Cook be tempted to shuffle his pack?
We’ve yet to see anything from Dujon Sterling who arrived with such fanfare in the summer and with Nathan Byrne struggling in recent weeks could the time be to bring in the Chelsea man who featured in a midweek win over Charlton’s U23 side. Bright Enobakhare seems to have disappeared from view following his appearance against Middlesbrough last month.
Two players there who I imagine won’t be far away from the first team picture and who could add a bit of pace and purpose to the side. Lewis Macleod is another who impressed earlier in the season but has fallen out of favour recently.
There’s definitely options for the manager to switch things up if he decides to, equally apart from those players mentioned there will be a clamour for Joe Gelhardt to start following his point saving goal last week.
Wins need to come sooner rather than later for Cook and his side, we’ve steadied the ship in recent weeks but if we’re going to start moving up that table we really need to string some wins together. It’s not going to be easy against Charlton but with Fulham and Sheffield Wednesday to follow soon after it’s not going to get any easier either. As the manager is fond of saying it’s an un-forgiving league but we really need to start making it work for us.
A win against Charlton would give us a great platform to build on ahead of two consecutive away matches at the end of the month. Let’s hope the lads can take that chance.
They’ve spoken about being patient and knowing that things are about to click, which is positive but equally frustrating as the football has shown anything but that. It’s a long season though and if we can get some wins you never know where momentum will take you – it’s getting the wins that will be the difficult part.
Over to Paul Cook for that one.