That’s more like it.
We said, we needed a reaction after this international break and what a reaction we’ve seen.
Two wins, four goals scored, zero conceded and a huge step forward after such a damaging last few weeks.
Both wins were fantastic in their own way, but distinctly different performances.
Against Gary Caldwell’s Exeter City (more on that later) it was a full on backs to the wall performance.
Latics went ahead via the fantastic play of Stephen Humphreys and Martial Godo and looked comfortable in the first half.
Second half saw Exeter launch attack after attack but the Latics defence held on and Jordan Jones capped off a fine individual performance with a virtuoso goal.
It was a brilliant performance in the second half, a very different performance than what we’ve seen in the last few weeks but showed that when we’re up against it we can stand firm.
That wasn’t the case earlier this month so should give the side faith that they can grind out results.
Gary Caldwell who I spoke of having a lot of respect for last week came across as extremely bitter following the match.
Our performance, according to Caldwell was embarrassing and not like the Wigan he knew.
Considering Caldwell and Maloney are well known as close friends, and Graham Barrow was Exeter’s assistant last season before coming back to Wigan whilst Caldwell was assistant to Maloney at Hibernian I’ll put his comments down to sour grapes as oppose to anything based on reality.
But Caldwell was right in one sense, this isn’t the Wigan he knew, it’s a club that has had its heart ripped out by continuous financial mismanagement, an administration the club had barely recovered from and a close brush with liquidation a year later.
It isn’t the club he knew that was bankrolled by Dave Whelan. We’re a million miles from that but we are building something here, something special all it needs is a little bit of time.
That was evidenced even more on Tuesday evening. If Exeter presented a tough challenge, that was dwarfed by the visit of Oxford.
Oxford as with Portsmouth have been in this league a long time, they have a squad that have been together a long time and they’ve found a way to win.
They arrived, second in the table with only two defeats to their name all season.
They had the better of the opportunities in the first fifteen minutes but once those fifteen minutes had passed Latics grew in to the game and led thanks to Stephen Humphreys’ goal.
In previous week’s Latics may have gone in to their shell and retreated but instead with great counter attacking play Latics kept Oxford to long range shots and very little of note.
The midfield of Baba Adeeko and Liam Shaw looked in complete the control for the 90 minutes.
Callum Lang who has been unfairly maligned this season came on and sealed the three points with a fantastic free kick.
It could have been more with Josh Stones hitting the bar and having a great chance saved.
Many were quick to criticise the manager last month. Conveniently ignoring the very real problems the club were still experiencing.
Those same issues were ignored with Gary Caldwell’s salty comments after Saturday’s match.
We’re a team made up of free transfers, academy graduates some of whom hadn’t played a senior game before the start of this season and the odd senior player we’ve been unable to move on.
It isn’t the same Wigan Athletic, it never could be but we can build something special under Shaun Maloney.
Give them time and let em gel, who knows where they could end up.
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