Season defining

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What’s the best way to bounce back from an iffy home performance against Scunthorpe?

Well three consecutive away wins, six goals scored and zero conceded sounds a pretty good response by anyone’s standards.

Let’s not kid ourselves Bury and Walsall aren’t the toughest tests that we’ll face this season. Both sides are struggling at the wrong end of the table but as the old adage goes you can only beat what is in front of you and Latics have done that very well indeed.

The who’s the better player debate between Bradley Dack and Nick Powell is getting quite tiresome, but Powell showed on Saturday why so many hold him in such high regard. Powell is by far the most talented player in this division, the first goal against Bury was a thing of beauty and came just at the right time. Nick Powell may grab all the headlines but the rest of this squad deserve plaudits, from the cup run to the promotion push everyone who’s pulled on the shirt this season have had a hand in what will hopefully be a season to look back on fondly.

It’s sad to see Bury where they are in the league, like Oldham and Rochdale they’re the perennial League One strugglers but to see them on a downward trend is a worrying one for a club that could very well have been us, if it were not for Dave Whelan.

Bury were by far the better side in the first half on Saturday but found themselves one nil down and chasing the game. Once Chey Dunkley made it two you knew the game was out of sight due to Bury’s failure to convert their chances.

This weekend has the feeling of season defining, nothing can be confirmed this season but two positive results would go a long way to sealing Wigan’s Championship return.

Oldham are battling at the wrong end of the division and like Bury won’t be a push over by any means. It’s the first home game in a while and Latics will be expected to bounce back from the draw against Scunthorpe a few weeks ago.

Meanwhile Portsmouth on Easter Monday has all the hallmarks of a trickier match, live in front of the TV cameras a bumper crowd for a Portsmouth side still within a shout of the play-offs and of course the little matter of a return for the former manager who caused such anger and fury by leaving to come to Wigan in the summer.

Despite all of that it’s important Latics continue to pick up results, with the game in hand we still hold four points from the Easter period would be a great return, six points and Latics fans would be in dream land. Let’s not get too far ahead of ourselves though. There’s ten games of the season left to go and we just need to ensure we do enough to cross the line.

Sean Livesey

First published in the Wigan Post, Friday 30th March 2018

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