What to make of Wednesday night? Well I thought our goals were very scruffy, and we treated the Blackburn players very shabbily, persistently manhandling them and fouling, whilst they were playing by far the better football throughout the game. Whoops, my apologies – I thought I was Tony Mowbray then for a second!
Seriously, what is his problem with us? He came out with much the same bleating excuses after the game at Ewood Park last time out, and I must say, he must be watching a very different game to many of us given his refusal to give Wigan Athletic any credit after a fine performance. His only comment of note seems to be that we “bullied” them when in fact, during the early exchanges of the game, it seemed exactly the other way.
Nearly every Rovers tackle saw their player leaving a bit of afters in, with their hands and feet. Once we started giving them a bit back, they started the time honoured ritual of sprawling to the floor to try and get their opponent booked. Mowbray is a very well respected man in football, whom I have always had time for until the last couple of games due to the utter drivel leaving his mouth afterwards and the cynical way he sets his teams up to play.
Thankfully, we stood up to this and went about the business of attacking with aplomb and could have been a lot more than one goal up at half time, in what was a very strong performance after a very patchy sequence of results. As for the tedious Dack v Powell debate, well, there’s a young man by the name of Gary Roberts who put them both in the shade on Wednesday night!
Anyway, it was nice to convincingly put them to bed and perhaps more of a barometer to where we are or where we could be if we hadn’t had a bad run of injuries and a difficult set of fixtures. We’ve played all of the top six recently, and even the teams who were at the bottom such as Preston and QPR are climbing the table rapidly. Plus losing by the odd goal to Norwich doesn’t look a bad result given the way the Canaries are suddenly flying. Sorry!
So to “that lot” on Saturday, and yes I will be going, having wrestled with my conscience and witnessed a stream of bickering from both sides of the fence over the ticket pricing. From those Bolton fans I speak to (which isn’t many!) they seem to be down and out, as opposed to being unlucky. Well, they’re unlucky as well, but you know what I mean. Yet I don’t think we can ever go there expecting anything other than a tough battle and as per usual I’m sure I’ll have a knot in my stomach at even considering the prospect of going to that horrible place and losing.
They have pulled off some great performances earlier on in the season in spite of being financially hamstrung and we can only hope they don’t decide to play above themselves again this weekend. Having said that, I would fully hope we can put a similar team out (if young Robbo’s legs have it in them) with Windass in for Powell. Much has been said about the form of Josh Windass, but he seized the opportunity to make the number 10 shirt his own on Wednesday and I think there will be a lot more to come from him.
Saturday represents a fantastic opportunity for Josh or indeed anyone else to make a name for themselves, and that’s all I’m saying on the matter.
Article first published in the Wigan Evening Post’s 12th Man column on Friday 30th November 2018
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