Strange case of Dr Jekyll & Mr Hyde

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It has very much been a case of Jekyll and Hyde for Latics over the past few months, Jekyll representing Latics fantastic home form where they have tasted defeat only four times since the start of last season.

Compared to their Hyde performances on the road where Paul Cook’s side only managed two away wins last season and are yet to taste victory again this season.

The whole Jekyll and Hyde scenario popped up again this week as Latics defended resolutely at Craven Cottage but came away without anything to show for their endeavours. Before heading back to the comforts of the Dave Whelan Stadium on Tuesday evening against Birmingham.

Once again Latics showed just what they’re made of at home against a Birmingham side who had started the season strongly.

Despite the narrow scoreline Latics were well in control, it was once again an improved performance and although there is still a lack of composure in front of goal the addition to the side of Josh Windass and latterly Anthony Pilkington made a world of difference.

If not for injury players like Windass and Pilkington would have played a much bigger part in the season so far, and who knows maybe affected some of the adverse results we’ve had since Cardiff on the 3rd of August.

There’s no use us crying over spilt milk of course but it’s good to see the return of those two, Josh Windass made a near instant impression on Tuesday and I imagine it was the first time that both he and Kieffer Moore had played together. Moore in particular is still waiting for that first goal, he’s full of endeavour and running but hasn’t found the back of the net yet.

I’m sure that will come soon enough, especially if we can keep Josh Windass on the pitch – the same can be said for Anthony Pilkington. They are players that make things happen.

As Pilkington showed with his goal on Tuesday night, it’s been a frustrating time with injury for the former Cardiff man but he showed all of his class when he was introduced on Tuesday. Of course there was some good fortune in us getting the goal but it’s about time we had some of that good fortune.

So it’s back on the road on Saturday and a trip over the Pennines to Hillsborough, one of the better away trips of the season it’s not been a happy hunting ground for Latics in recent seasons.

Our only victory came in that glorious spell at the start of Uwe Rosler’s reign were it felt like Latics would win every single week.

We’re overdue a win in Sheffield and overdue a win away from home, can Latics get that this weekend? Wednesday have had a good start to the season, now led by Gary Monk who seems to swallow up Championship jobs like the rest of us would hot dinners.

The Owls tasted their first defeat under Monk against Hull in midweek and will be wary of making it two defeats in a row but with Latics also in desperate need of the points and virtually back to full strength who knows what could happen.

If Paul Cook’s side can go on the attack like they did against Birmingham and finally show some confidence away from home, maybe we can get that elusive win.

Sean Livesey

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