One last push

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Last week I spoke about something being ‘so Wigan’, a chain of events being so unheard of that it could only involve Wigan.

Imagine my horror as I checked the BBC Sport app on Tuesday night to see Rochdale 3-2 Wimbledon, the very same Wimbledon who couldn’t stop winning in recent weeks. I think I uttered something a bit stronger than ‘so Wigan’.

A Rochdale win would have still seen our future in our own hands but there would be no room for any slip ups.

As it is one more win will definitely do it, possibly less if Northampton or Rochdale fail to better our results. Whatever happens against Hull on Saturday we go in to the final day against Swindon knowing that our fate is in our own hands. A remarkable feat considering what has happened to our great football club over the last twelve months.

Safety isn’t assured yet, we still need to complete the job but after how this side have performed since they came together (for the most part in January) it’s amazing to think that we could potentially confirm our safety with a game to go.

Of course Hull are exactly the sort of side we don’t want to be facing to do that on Saturday. Or are they? The title chasers confirmed promotion on Saturday and enjoyed the odd tipple on Saturday night in reports are to be believed. That’s absolutely fine, we did similar ahead of the Barnsley match back in 2016. I hope Hull put in a similar performance as we did on that day.

What I’m trying to say in a roundabout way is that Hull’s league position shouldn’t faze us. This side of ours have shown that in normal times and with a full season they certainly wouldn’t be fighting a relegation battle. We’ve taken on some of the league’s leading sides in recent weeks and gone toe to toe with them, Hull don’t hold anything to fear.

How perfect would it be for Latics to get survival confirmed before the final game of the season. A whole extra week for Leam to prepare his squad for next season. An extra week to get the season tickets on sale and an extra week of looking back on an horrific year turned around by Leam Richardson, Gregor Rioch all the staff and everyone involved with Phoenix 2021.

We’re not there yet, but we’re tantalisingly close. Let’s go and get the job done lads.

Speaking of season tickets with successful pilots on going at the World Snooker Championship in Sheffield, at the FA Cup semi-final last weekend and the Carabao Cup final without getting hopes up it’s looking like we could well be back in Stadiums come the start of next season.

We’ll return to a different club from the one we left back in March 2020 but the return (and it will come) will  be all the sweeter knowing what we’ve been through to get there.

Aberdeen released a wonderfully produced video this week to advertise their season tickets for next year and it had me in tears watching what they had come up with. We talk about football as a religion but for a lot of people football and the routines surrounding football are the one constant in life, to have that taken away over the last fourteen months has been so difficult.

Football is indeed the most important of the least important things. Considering I thought we may never see our beloved club again I’m not sure I’ll be able to cope if we produce a video similar to Aberdeen’s.

Sean Livesey

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