International breaks are a real pain aren’t they? Don’t get me wrong, I love watching England and I enjoy international football. I’m not one of those who would do away with the international calendar. I understand why it’s so integral to world football. But nonetheless when an international weekend comes along and inevitably ruins a weekend off work where we could be watching Latics it’s mightily frustrating.
As was the case last weekend, a late summer trip over to the Fylde Coast ruined by the international break. The ones earlier in the season are particularly galling, the season has barely got underway before we have to take a break and with how well Latics have been playing no one wants a break yet.
This season feels particularly pertinent after the last eighteen months, I’m eager to get back out there and to an away day on the train. So instead of a Saturday in September it’s a Tuesday in November and a chance to see the lights for the trip to Fleetwood.
Still at least the lads will have had a decent break before another heavy run of matches over the next few months if nothing else.
All attentions turn to Doncaster on Saturday and the chance to keep up with the leading pack at top of League One, it’s been a fantastic return over the first month of the season and with the squad now looking complete it’s going to be fascinating to see how Latics gel over the coming months.
Latics will be up against a few familiar faces when they face Donny on Sunday, Joe Dodoo who did so well for us at the end of last season, Jordy Hiwula who was equally impressive whilst on loan to us back in the heady days of 2015 when Gary Caldwell’s side marched to the League One title.
Alongside them is Dan Gardner, Gardner and Dodoo in particular deserve a great reception on Saturday afternoon. Both players played a massive part in us surviving last season and we haven’t been able to thank them properly. I was surprised both departed at the end of the season, Gardner wasn’t offered a new deal and Dodoo turned down a new deal. Similar to George Johnston I wonder if Dodoo didn’t expect our recovery to be as swift and as strong as it has undoubtedly been.
Viv Solomon Otabor who didn’t sign a new contract in the summer is currently training with Latics as he looks to return to full fitness, he was the first name on the team sheet for most of last season and played through the pain barrier to help Latics stay up. I wonder whether we may look to offer him a contract again (as someone outside of the window) where he would fit in to the side is another matter.
So it’s Doncaster on Saturday, they’ve undoubtedly had a difficult start this season under Richie Wellens. They come in to this game on the back of a 6-0 defeat in the Pizza cup against Rotherham with a certain Will Grigg on the score sheet so they’ll be wanting to get back to winning ways on Saturday.
We’ll be favourties, but don’t dismiss Doncaster we know from personal experience how that favourites tag can be turned around in this league as last season showed us.
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