Let Latics gel

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Seven points from nine, with two matches away out of the first three.

It’s been a magnificent return considering the turmoil that Wigan Athletic were in as recently as June.

I think Latics may well be in danger of creating expectations that they aren’t always able to live up to.

Saturday’s match against Northampton saw a dominant Latics display capped off with a wonderful goal by Callum McManaman who changed the game when he was introduced midway through the second half.

It felt a poignant moment for a number of reasons, back celebrating a win at home after the turmoil of the last few months, the whole Turn It Blue campaign and on a personal front for Callum McManaman.

A more exciting player you would struggle to find than McManaman in his peak during that FA Cup season.

Injuries and bad luck saw his career on a downward trajectory but the way he’s grabbed his chance of a return with us has been fantastic to see.

Mike Minay of Radio Manchester alongside Paul Kendrick interviewed McManaman post match and it was one of the most revealing ‘footballer’ interviews I’ve ever listened to.

McManaman revealed that not only was he without a club after leaving Tranmere last summer but had firmly given up on football until Shaun Maloney got in touch.

He spoke of feeling embarrassed when he first came in to train, as though he wasn’t good enough and that he was terrified about tarnishing his reputation with us.

Well already in this short spell he’s done nothing of the sort, he’s simply enhanced his reputation among Wiganer’s.

It also says something about Maloney and indeed Graham Barrow – they care about people. That’s important in any football club, but all the more one like Wigan Athletic.

We also need to realise sometimes that footballers are human beings too – which brings me on to Tuesday night.

The first 45 minutes against Carlisle was some of the finest football I’ve seen from a Wigan Athletic side for many a year.

It wouldn’t have flattered us if we’d gone in at half-time two or three goals to the good. Sadly we only had one goal to our name and the old adage of 1-0 being the most dangerous score line came to fruition.

Despite hitting the bar and the post and having yet another blatant penalty turned down we failed to get that all important second goal and had to settle for a point.

A point when you’ve played so well felt so disappointing last night but we have to take it in context (yes reader I have said this before) our pre-season was disrupted by last season’s shenanigans meaning that we’re probably a good few weeks behind our rivals.

Throw in the fact that we’re currently fielding a side full of academy graduates, loan signings and free transfers all the while playing a difficult brand of football it’s frankly a miracle we’ve started as we have. There was lots of anger on the terraces on Tuesday and online when we failed to get those three points.

I understand people need to vent but we also need to understand this is a young side, they’ll make mistakes and then they’ll produce moments of pure joy like the second against Northampton and the goal against Carlisle.

It’ll take time and we won’t win every week but I feel supremely confident that we’ll have a good season.

If we lose on Saturday to them men it shouldn’t be a cause for throwing the toys out of the pram, sadly it’s just a recognition of the very different places that we’re in as clubs at the moment.

They’ve had three straight seasons in this division now, we’ve cobbled a side together out of nothing and are hamstrung all this season by the last regime’s disastrous decision making.

Don’t destroy this young sides confidence if we fail to get anything at the Tough Sh*t, just let Latics Gel.




Sean Livesey

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