Pride returning

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Four points from the first three games, not a bad return considering we ended last season with five contracted players.

Not bad either considering everything our club had to go through last season to even get to this point of starting the season.

This seems to be forgotten by everyone else in League One at the moment.

The likes of Ian Evatt and surprisingly Paul Warne seem to think we should have carried on with our hotchpotch mix of youth players and free agents that miraculously managed to stay up last season.

Building a competitive squad? Nah that’s for the birds. Not for Wigan Athletic. The aforementioned former Latics striker Paul Warne described us as the Harlem Globetrotters after the last minute win over Rotherham on Saturday afternoon.

If a load of free signings with one fee paid among that number makes us the Harlem Globetrotters then I’m Wilt Chamberlain (look it up kids).

The pure disdain that our business has been met with reminds me of our Premier League promotion season and more recently the League One title winning seasons.

But this time there’s no millions from Dave Whelan and no Premier League parachute payments. This time it’s income generated by the club and supported by investment from Phoenix 21.

I’m utterly amazed at how quickly the new owners and management team have gone about their work. They’re well on their way to completely rebuilding a football club that was on its knees.

There’s a long way to go but there hasn’t been a buzz around the football club like this for a long, long time.

From stadium improvements to the playing squad and the small improvements and additions we won’t even notice off the pitch everything so far has been impressive.

I felt a mixture of emotions last Saturday, primarily relief. Relief that we were back but also pride. Pride in what we all did and pride in how we will rebuild our football club. But also pride in Mr Al Jasmi and Talal Al Hammad. They’ve seen something in Wigan Athletic.

They’ve seen something in this small football club in West Lancashire, they’ve seen something in this small yet passionate (and daft) fan base and believe (we’ll be hearing a lot of that over the next few weeks) we can once again be a force again.

It’s important to keep our expectations in check but so far so good on and off the pitch.

Sean Livesey

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