How are we looking then?

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I suppose we’d better do what people frequently call a ‘temperature check’ then. The mood I guess is a generally positive one. We’ve only really lost players who were going to walk anyway and we’ve signed several exciting new prospects.

The biggest concern is perhaps lack of firepower – scandalous when you consider that Grant Holt is getting paid a fortune to train with the kids – but that’s a tale for another day.

However, Rosler has already indicated that he will use the loan market so he’ll be left to take a lucky dip from Premier League development squads. Someone like that Patrick Bamford chap would do for me.

So I’m happy with where we are but it’s easy to forget before the fun and games starts that there are 23 other teams out there. Such is the competitive nature of the Championship, if you ask me who else I think will be up there I’d quickly rattle off a dozen or so names.

The three coming down will be ridiculously strong. Derby were the stand out team at the end of last year, Brighton, Boro and Reading are always there or thereabouts and Forest, despite being perennially in crisis, are a decent side.

Throw in a rejuvenated Blackburn and/or Bolton and a surprise package such as Burnley last year and it’s going to be tough. Of course, as we found to our peril last year, every team is capable of beating anyone so there’s not much we can do but sit back and enjoy it.

I’d say even more so than the Premier League, how you get to the top of the pile comes down to good management as much as how much money you’ve got.

My “law of averages” approach to score predictions means I’m nervous about Reading: we’ve won our last four against them, a record we may struggle to keep up. This does however logically mean that we should wallop Blackpool in the next home game.

In summary, the only I can predict about the next ten months is that it will be unpredictable!

First published in Wigan Evening Post 12th Man column Friday 8th August 2014


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