Wigan Athletic - The 12th Man - 24/11/11
This weeks 12th Man column in the Wigan Evening Post has two contributions from Vital Latics:
The Draw Felt Like A Loss
Drawing with Blackburn in the manner we did almost feels like a loss, to concede right at the death is hard to take, the fact that we gave away a penalty for their injury time leveller is almost inexcusable, but these things happen in football, especially when you're down at the bottom and nothing appears to be going your way.
The biggest talking point of the game was of course the corner that led to Blackburn's second goal, how the referee allowed that to stand is beyond me. 'Corner kick', the clue is in the title, not corner dribble!
It is interesting to note that Andre Marriner has been 'rested' for this weekend's Premier League fixtures.
The performance of the Latics in the Blackburn game was much better than of late, yes we did give away the now customary soft goal in the opening stages, but the team fought back and fought back well, the surprise selection of Stam, Gomez and Sammon worked a treat and when Jordi smashed home the equalising goal on 7 minutes there was a sense that the Latics could end their recent dismal run in style.
Three goals scored, a host of chances created should have guaranteed the three points but it didn't turn out that way, no point sulking around though, the players need to pick themselves up, dust themselves down and prepare for what will be an undoubtedly tough encounter up at Sunderland.
Steve Bruce says the Black Cats must beat the Latics, it makes a change our opponents having a 'must win' game, and with our ex-boss in charge there will be an extra spice added to this fixture.
I get the impression that there is no love lost between Martinez and Bruce which goes back a long way, after all it was Steve Bruce who released our Bobby from the Latics back in 2001 and there have been a couple of public spats between the two about the alleged unsettling of players. It all adds up to make Saturdays game a little more edgier than the norm, but its also a game that I can see us getting a positive result from.
Keep It Going Boys
We started this run by being outclassed by what are proving to be a rampant Manchester City team. That remains the only game where we were comprehensively outplayed and we weren't at our best that day. Throughout the current run of form, we've been the match of most of our opposition. Including Spurs and Newcastle who are both top 4 clubs in recent weeks and that's what's frustrating.
I am sure that my fellow contributors this week will be focussing on the ludicrous officiating, and the travesty that was the result on Saturday. I would rather focus on the fact that we've gone from giving away points, to having lady luck take them, and now it's taking inept officiating to steal what we deserve. Roberto might get fined for saying that the refereeing was not up to standard, but they are welcome to try and fine me if they have the brass neck.
Once you get over the result and the manner in which we lost 2 points, you realise we actually have lots to be happy about. For the second home game running I've seen Wigan Athletic as the better team by far and been thoroughly entertained. This time with 5 changes and the depth of the squad also proving it's worth.
Officials and luck always play a part in football, but taking them out of the equation, we are clearly getting a lot right. Keep this up and we must start to climb the table, and if luck and decisions equal themselves out, we should climb comfortably. A clear example of this is that On Saturday, we had a setback, conceding an early goal, and of course they got a free goal. All the fans around me though, were more than happy with the team on Saturday, we hit back quickly and were the better side throughout the game. A team/squad that has the spirit to battle against this adversity is not a team that are struggling despite what the table says. That says an awful lot about the players and staff at the club. More of the same spirit and quality at Sunderland please, but If you can just do me a favour and not start the game a goal down, you might be able to get 3 points, not 1.
Latics and Proud
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