So after all that, the anticipation the hand wringing over ticket allocations, controversial ballots and being back on prime time BBC TV we get to do it all over again.
Friday probably always had anti-climax written all over it, generally the most anticipated of away days do where Wigan Athletic is concerned. The match itself followed the pattern of most of Latics games this season, Latics started really well. Could have been two or three ahead before half-time whilst the opposition dug in their heels and got eleven men behind the ball as they defended for their lives.
It looked like Will Grigg’s goal on the stroke of half time would be the prelude to a flurry of second half goals sadly Latics never really got out of first gear and the reckless challenge from Nathan Byrne meant that Fylde were to earn a famous replay. A word should go to Fylde, their set up is clearly geared up for the football league, everything about them screams professional and I imagine it won’t be too long until we see them in the football league.
We shouldn’t be too surprised by Friday’s result, the FA Cup obviously throws up results like that time after time, Latics know that better than most. The concern for me surrounds our composure in front of goal – if you’re not somebody who watches us regularly and saw that we’re the leading scorers in the league you would wonder what the issues was. But recently we haven’t scored the goals that our performances have deserved, change that and we’ll be in a stronger position than we are already.
So on to this week and the return of one Uwe Rosler to the Dave Whelan Stadium, I felt sorry for Uwe when he was sacked in November 2014. Not least because what followed was ten times worse than what we had experienced under the German that season. The six months that followed Uwe’s appointment in December 2013 were some of the most exciting I’ve ever had watching Latics. An utterly fantastic FA Cup run that saw us very nearly win a back to back FA Cup, the rise from mid table obscurity to the play-offs and the feeling that we were going to win every single week.
It didn’t end well for Uwe at Latics, he changed too much too quickly in that second season but he was also operating in a time of high expectations and the expectation was that we would romp to the Championship title. In the bottom three in November didn’t match up with those expectations, I feel Uwe would have easily kept us up that season but it wasn’t to be and although I was disappointed he left I couldn’t disagree with his sacking.
He’s had a mixed few years since that FA Cup semi-final against Arsenal, he became the latest victim of the Leeds managerial merry go round before taking over at Fleetwood in 2016. Fleetwood were amongst the favourites for promotion this season and although they’re not showing promotion form yet I expect they’ll be challenging before long. For us – we need to keep up that pressure and keep getting those wins, it’s going to be a busy December and three points on Saturday are the perfect way to start the month.
First published in the Wigan Post, Friday 8th December 2017.
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