The beginning?

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Is this the start? The start of the turnaround? It just has to be.

It’s been so refreshing over the last manic couple of weeks to listen to Shaun Maloney.

His knowledge and passion for the club has shone through and I think has led to the strange situation that the team bottom of the league have now got a bit of confidence, which is remarkable considering how dire things looked under Kolo Toure.

Words are of course cheap – as commodities go, but Maloney’s clarity contrasts massively with the previous regime where there seemed to be no clarity. Either amongst the players or from the management.

We still face the battle of our lives to get out of this, a point no matter how well earned doesn’t mean the hard work is done.

In fact it’s only just beginning but what we saw on Monday night must be a springboard a springboard to consistency in both results and performances.

Let’s look at Monday, six changes from that torrid game against Luton, at the end of last month and we managed to look every part the Championship team on Monday.

Players who have struggled badly in recent months put in very good performances – Max Power, James McLean and Tendayi Darwika most notably.

The defence looked calm and composed whilst the forward play was much better. Gone was the hapless approach of lumping it forward instead players searched out team mates and for the most part didn’t waste possession.

As said earlier this is no quick fix, we’re absolutely in the mire but it felt a bit more like us on Monday. In fact it felt a lot more like us.

We simply have to follow that up with a win at home to Huddersfield on Saturday, there’s no getting away from it, its a game that lives up to it’s ‘must win’ billing.

It looks like we’ll have to do that without Martin Kelly who was imperious in his debut before heading off the pitch with a serious looking injury.

The injury to Kelly and Omar Rekik soured an otherwise decent first match in charge for Shaun Maloney.

The difference those two made in a defensive three alongside Jack Whatmough can’t be understated but at least we’ve now got strength in depth within those positions with Charlie Hughes and Curtis Tilt not even making the squad on Monday.

So now we’re back to looking a little bit like the Wigan Athletic we all know and love let’s get that Dave Whelan Stadium filled (relatively speaking) on Saturday afternoon. Give those lads and the new manager our support, they deserve it and they need it.

If we pull this off it could be the biggest greatest escape (c) we’ve ever had, let’s get that escape underway with three points on Saturday.

Sean Livesey

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