Patience is a virtue

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I think any concerns about whether we could compete at this level were expelled on Saturday evening. A hard fought local derby against those lads from up the M6 showed that we can and will compete at this level. Unfortunately the injuries are piling up now, Jack Whatmough the latest to pick up a knock – file alongside Charlie Wyke and long term absentee Jordan Cousins.

It means an already stretched squad, is just that little more fragile. There’ll clearly be reinforcements, the squad needs it and with a month of the transfer window to go it isn’t time to panic yet. The club are clearly biding their time, when you think about it we’re arguably twelve months ahead of schedule in our return from the abyss.

We may have joked about it but did anyone really expect us to win the title last year? This season probably should have been us fine tuning in League One and going for the title push this year, after a successful season the previous year.

As it was we managed what would have been expected in two, in one season – does that mean the transfer budget wasn’t as readily available this summer? Possibly. But equally since taking over Phoenix 21 have spoken about us becoming a self sufficient football club. The days of us bringing in whole new squads each summer are gone, and that’s probably for the best.

It’s the old adage that Latics only started playing after the New Year. Who could forget ‘Wigan time’, when we were in the Premier League? That wasn’t because we couldn’t be arsed until February every year but because every season in the Premier League we would lose most of our core group of players and have to start all over again.

Bedding in players takes time, this year because of last season’s incredible recruitment we don’t need to do that. What we do need to do is fine tune what we have, that doesn’t play well with those online for who transfers equate to success. Sky Sports News created a monster with the clamour for signings on that transfer deadline, very rarely do those signings turn in to any sort of success story.

Who in the last ten years, of the many that we bring in like that turn in to successful signings for us? Less than 20% I’d wager. Sadly Jamie McGrath who arrived from St Mirren with ringing endorsements hasn’t managed to show the same sort of form for Latics and so heads back to Scotland via way of Dundee United.

I understand why people are getting edgy, the squad is arguably weaker than last season but equally these players that are here now know each other and know what is expected of them. Also they deserve their chance at proving themselves in the Championship, they earned that and more last season.

Signings will come, but patience is the name of the game at the moment.

If Preston was a tough match, Norwich will be even tougher – over 600 Wiganers are travelling down for a match live on Sky. It’s a fantastic effort and one that should be applauded, no doubt some crowd nonce in their bedroom will come up with some witty retort saying ‘Is that all you take away’, they’re not worth the screen space their serially terrible takes are written on.

Sean Livesey

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