Stand Up and Be Counted – Latics v Bolton

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Let’s be honest, we didn’t really expect to win any of our last four league games. However, the time has come where the eleven players (plus subs) who wear the shirt on Saturday need to stand up and be counted.

We need to perform by either out playing or out fighting our opponents, quite possibly both. If not, then we’re not learning lessons and we may as well not bother competing.

Bolton might have evolved a bit on the footballing front since the Allardyce and Megson days now they have the swift talking, tight short wearing Owen Coyle at the helm but like us, they have struggled this season and if it isn’t too early to describe a game as a six pointer, then well I just did.

I’m not worried at this point of the season as I have an unshiftable belief that a good performance – and more importantly a good result is on it’s way for the good ship Wigan Athletic. It would be lovely to avenge the 4-0 drubbing we suffered at the Reebok a couple of years back.

Somehow our team and manager needs to learn that Wigan Athletic have always been battlers and historically we always found that bit extra in local derbies and cup ties rather than turning in heartless, embarrassing performances – and let’s not forget who knocked us out of the FA Cup last year.

I’m always the first one to defend the team and the manager by pointing out to detractors that other teams have more money than us and bigger wage bills. However, we are also a team who punches above our weight and we’re not currently doing that.

If we can’t instil on the pitch the ethos of over-achievement which Wigan Athletic has always been about then that belief of mine is going to waver pretty quickly. Make us proud on Saturday or else even the most optimistic fans will start to worry.

Saturday is also a day to come out and support your team. The fans have a big role to play as well and if we don’t get down to the DW and support the team in numbers then those of you who prefer to watch Latics’ home games in the pub these days won’t be able to next year.

First published in the Wigan Evening Post “12th Man” column on 12th October 2011



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