Something special brewing

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There’s some games that you know, even early on that they’re going to be remembered fondly.

As Saturday’s match went on you felt something special was brewing.

Latics had struggled to get to grips with Birmingham in the opening ten minutes or so, when Joe Bennett was incorrectly sent off it felt like it was simply a case of damage limitation but something happened after the indignation of that ridiculous red card that never was.

Wigan took control of the game, despite being a man down it was Latics who did all the running, all the pressing and for the last twenty minutes of the first half created all the chances.

Latics looked the stronger side and I’m sure everyone in the ground would have happily taken the draw and a point.

But Leam and the coaching staff alongside those lads on the pitch had a different idea. Leam probably unfairly has been labelled a cautious manager in his time with us, unwilling or unable to change it up or try different approaches.

All nonsense – of course, but these labels tend to stick. Well good luck to anyone who tries to say he’s too cautious now after the way his substitutions changed the game and the result on Saturday.

It was a pleasant surprise to see Charlie Wyke named among the substitutes on Saturday afternoon, especially as many thought he would never play again after last November’s cardiac arrest.

To see him come on and set up the winner was worth the ticket price alone. Alongside Wyke we also saw Nathan Broadhead introduced and with both substitutes impacting the result it showed the positivity of Leam’s decisions.

So much was good about Saturday – another sold out away end, the return of Charlie Wyke and the impact of Nathan Broadhead and his first goal.

It’s back to home comforts on Saturday with the visit of Vincent Kompany’s Burnley and probably our toughest test yet. Burnley can clearly score for fun, but they also look like they may be vulnerable in defence.

Whatever happens on Saturday Latics have shown they can mix it with the big boys and indeed compete with the big boys too, seven points from four matches is a great return for our first season back in the Championship.

Let’s hope we can keep that run going at the weekend.

Sean Livesey

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