Wigan Athletic - 12th Man - 30/11/11
This weeks Wigan Evening Post '12th Man Page' featured two contributions from Vital Latics members:
Sunderland Win Gave A Massive Buzz
What a fantastic feeling a last minute winner gives, the euphoria of Franco Di Santo's 93rd minute goal is still giving me a giant buzz. The depressing run of no wins in nine was put to bed with a gutsy performance that saw the Latics come back from conceding an early goal against a Sunderland side that, for the first 25 minutes of Saturday's game, appeared to be cruising to victory.
Martinez without doubt earned his crust, he made some tactical changes to the formation and his team responded by clawing their way back into a game that they looked like they were going to lose, heavily at one point. The elation on the face of the Latics boss when the winner hit the net was a joy, he punched the air as though he'd scored the goal himself, in contrast Sunderland boss Steve Bruce cut a disconsolate figure on the touchline, I almost felt sorry for him, but quickly remembered that it was Steve Bruce, the man who walked out on our club twice, it feels good. Gloating? You bet I am.
Bruce looks on as Di Santo and Caldwell celebrate
By permission of Bernard Platt/Wigan Athletic
Best not to get too carried away though, Arsenal are in town this weekend, a tough match against a quality side, but we do go into the game with a renewed optimism, plus we have a decent record against the Wenger Boys on our patch. Not an easy one to call and I'd take a point in all honesty, just got to keep our little run going now that we have some momentum and get more points on the board.
Where To Next?
You can't make it up can you, last week a heart breaking last minute. This week the total opposite, a heart warming last minute, a goal that gave us 3 points instead of clinging onto 1. We finally got the monkey off our back with a win after 2 point barren months. Some supporters point to the fact that Sunderland had their chances and didn't convert them, and that were not exactly facing the most friendly of upcoming fixture lists. They point to the fact that we haven't been prolific goal scorers and we've regularly given away silly goals. This they say is a false dawn and that we're still in trouble.
Our position in the table might indicate trouble, but good signs are definitely there. Can other clubs point as easily to points they gave away with mistakes that can be cut out as readily as ours ? We are a team that despite the giving away of a goal start, and the officials costing another, we still got a draw. We've now started giving a goal start and then having the heart to come back and beat the opposition.
Having the self belief to come back when a goal down of your own making, and then doing it time and time again is a sign of great team spirit. Players coming in and doing a man of the match job without fuss is a sign of great team spirit. People have been calling for this 'spirit' to be shown while we were on the bad run. Against Fulham we were utterly dominant, but some people failed to see this, because of the result. The spirit has been developing for weeks, we're now simply seeing it pay off. The 3 points on Saturday were not a result of a mistake by the opposition, they were the result of the effort, desire and commitment of our players to chase right till the whistle.
If we're good enough to do this to teams that are around the mid to lower half of the premiership, with the monkey banished, we actually have a real chance to pick up good points in the coming weeks.
Latics and Proud
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