Due to a family emergency I found myself in Wimbledon on Wednesday night. I sat in a pub surrounded by Chelsea fans shouting at the screen as Barcelona dismantled their side piece by piece at the Nou Camp.
I wouldn’t have known though, as absorbed as I was in trying to follow the fortunes of Wigan Athletic at Bradford City. As far away as you could get from the Champions League and Catalonia I imagine.
Head down in Twitter and BBC Sport updates I thought our chance had gone, until the 91st minute and that glorious beep as GOAL ALERT: BRADFORD CITY 0-1 WIGAN ATHLETIC (Jacobs) came through.
There’s no telling how important that goal could be in the final shake up come the end of the season. We keep saying how we have the upper hand with our games in hand, but that’s only true if we can win those games in hand.
After the disappointment of Saturday’s result against Scunthorpe a win on Wednesday was needed, although not a given. Our record at Valley Parade is nearly as poor as our record at Ewood Park. Just the one win there, with Simon Grayson making his home bow as Bantams boss and a poor pitch it had all the ingredients for another poor night for Latics. But as I keep saying you write this side off at your peril.
A win now leaves us in a much stronger position in the league and crucially is a fantastic confidence booster going in to Sunday’s FA Cup quarter final tie with Southampton, if we can harness half of what we put in to the matches with Bournemouth, West Ham and Manchester City we could book a return trip to Wembley.
What an achievement that would be for a League One side. But first we need to beat Southampton, a Southampton side who dispatched with the hapless Mauricio Pellegrino on Monday night. Mark Hughes was announced as his successor on Wednesday night and the timing is far from ideal for Paul Cook’s side. Southampton will now be an unknown quantity but this side have already beaten supposed stronger opposition.
Nothing should stop us doing the same again Sunday, let’s pack the DW let’s shout till we’re hoarse and show the country live on BBC One what we’re about and book that return to Wembley.
First published in the Wigan Post, Friday March 16th 2018.