The Resurrection

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It’s been quite the re-introduction to football hasn’t it? After the self-enforced break over Christmas Latics have come roaring back, with the country stepping back from the precipice of further restrictions that seemed inevitable after that Oxford match it’s made the last few weeks even more exciting.

Tuesday nights win in the Pizza Trophy makes it six wins from six matches played in January, an enviable return and when you consider we’ve not been at our best in a lot of those games and have missed various players it’s all the more remarkable.

Some may well have thought our run in the Pizza Cup would be at an end after naming a near full academy side to face Arsenal on Tuesday night but once again Gregor Rioch’s impressive results since he arrived at the club shone through.

I don’t think it’s dramatic to say that the academy helped save Wigan Athletic and despite the heartbreak of seeing those depart there’s a whole new generation ready to take their chance. Chris Sze, Charlie Hughes and Jamie Carragher chief among those, not to mention the match winning Wiganer Divin Baningime. Born in the Republic of Congo, raised in Worsley Mesnes and schooled at John Fisher.

He was one of the victims of administration last year as he had to be released to free up squad places for January signings, thankfully he returned to the club in September and after a number of impressive performances in the Under 23s he now looks like he’s another ready to step up. The future is definitely bright. So it’s one step from Wembley and would you bet against this lot getting to Wembley?

Saturday’s win over Gillingham was far closer than it needed to have been, if Latics had taken their many chances at half-time it could have been three or four. All credit to Gillingham for not rolling over and making a game of it but as we keep saying Leam Richardson’s team keep finding a way to win and how relieved we were to see the imperious Will Keane pop up again with the winner deep in to the second half.

No one represents the change in fortunes at Wigan Athletic more than Will Keane, literally having the season of his life he’s picked up where he left off last season with some key contributions that helped to keep us up. He’s often compared to Nick Powell but I think his play this season has been even more crucial than Nick Powell was back in 17/18.

It’s another packed week ahead in the world of Wigan Athletic, a trip to a Cheltenham side who haven’t won a league match since November first up. Although Cheltenham have struggled in recent months they’ve picked up valuable draws against Rotherham and Oxford in recent weeks, whilst anyone who watched us against Doncaster, Morecambe and Gillingham knows that a win isn’t a given by any stretch.

After the trip to Cheltenham it’s a return to home comforts and the rearranged match with Oxford, a match that rightly we should have had chance to play in November.

Let’s hope the hard work being put in means we can keep getting those points on the board.

Sean Livesey

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