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What? You mean the football season is still going? I thought we’d decided we were declaring for this year before things get any worse.

So, as I slowly tune my battle weary brain back in again to the frequency of the remaining fixtures, I actually start to think we may have been a bit premature. There’s enough games and enough points left isn’t there? We could do this, couldn’t we? We just need to win a few games and hope that all those other teams above us lose a few.

Right! In that case, who’s up next then? Oh! Newcastle away then Ipswich away. Whoops.

I hate to say it, but I have much more confidence with Graham Barrow in charge than I did under Warren Joyce and even though we lost 2-0 at Villa, he stayed true to his promise and sent the team out to have a go.

The problem now is that we are lacking in able bodies and quality on the field. Several key attacking players are either out long-term or were offloaded in January and of the ones we have left, many are struggling. Omar Bogle in particular seems to have gone massively backwards since he first arrived.

Gabriel Obertan was kept under wraps for weeks, we finally got a decent game out of him and now he appears to be sulking a bit because his mate isn’t manager any more.

Still, the team has had two weeks together for the most part and hopefully we will see some positive output from that work. To go to Newcastle and get a win would be a first, and probably the most unlikely opportunity ever given the disparity in squads but stranger things have happened.

Ipswich aren’t quite the same proposition but it’s still a tough place to go, and as for a midweek trip there, well you could probably get to the moon and back much quicker.

There’s no point speculating where we might be this time next week but with two home games after that, then if there is a still a glimmer of hope, then we may have the launch pad from which to go and grab it.

Still, look at me coming over all optimistic. Like many fans, I suspect that, in my head at least, the damage has already done and we are as good as down and I am already picking out the good away days back in League One next season. Yet the heart feels slightly differently: it’s only a few football matches isn’t it? We can win a few of those can’t we?

Article first published in the Wigan Evening Post’s 12th Man column on Friday 31st March 2017

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