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Wigan Athletic - 12th Man - 16/02/12

Wigan Athletic - 12th Man - 16/02/12



This weeks 12th Man page in the Wigan Evening Post features two contributions from Vital Latics:

Keeping The Dream Alive

What a fantastic day!

Supporting the Latics down the years has given me some mighty highs and Saturday was up there with the best. We had an early start, left home at 8:30 to drop the cars off ahead of the walk to the Reebok, this gave the day a bit of a cup final feel. It was uplifting to see so many people turn up to walk the seven miles from the DW to Horwich and a party atmosphere ensued.

On the way through Aspull the Latics team coach passed the walkers, it slowed down to almost a snail pace as it crawled by, the players and manager were at the windows applauding the walkers, what a great feeling that was, no wonder by the time we got to Bolton`s ground everyone was absolutely buzzing.

The game felt like it went by in a flash, I don`t think the result was ever in doubt, the Latics dominated with slick passing and movement, Gary Caldwell was both excellent and inspirational at the back, his goal showed a steely determination as he swept aside his marker to thunder home a great header.

Even though Bolton equalised with a goal out of the blue, we kept doing what we were doing and James McArthur`s winner was just inevitable, Jean Beausejour has settled into the team like he`s been around for years and he had another good game, in the middle we dominated play with both McArthur and McCarthy outstanding, whilst upfront Di Santo ran himself ragged, it would be wrong though to single out individual players as this was a great team performance.

On the day the Latics had the bottle and Bolton didn`t, what we need now is for that to carry through until the end of the season, because playing with such style and confidence will see us turn what looked an impossibility into reality and keep the dream alive.

Barry Worthington



Hope Springs Eternal!

A great day out is the only way to describe Saturday. I was one of the several hundred walkers raising money for the Emma Hoolin appeal. This event most definitely set the tone for the day. When the stakes are highest, the people of Wigan will not let you down. The footballing stakes were also high, and Wigan Athletic proved that in similar circumstances, they won`t let you down either.

By the end of the day, two positive events had happened for both camps even if there is still much work to be done. We helped Emma, and the team helped by tightening things up at the bottom, with a performance that in retrospect didn`t look like anything other than a Latics win. I didn`t feel like that though at the time though, my nerves were shredded.

We have proven over the last couple of years that you do not write off Wigan Athletic. After Saturday, I feel we certainly have the quality at our disposal to again perform another great escape. I am quite sure that there are teams in and around us that are starting to worry about their safety, purely because we have a reputation of getting results as we need them. Hopefully Saturday will also begin to build a genuine self confidence and belief in the minds of our own squad and the mental side of the game can help us instead of being the hindrance it`s been at times this season.

We survived last season with a monumental contribution from an iconic player, who then left the club, and left a large hole to fill. Another thing that it seems is quietly happening at the DW, is that we`ve not only managed 4 points from 6, but done so without significant input from our biggest names, players that are very likely to pull on a Latics shirt next season are the ones doing the business. Coincidence or forward planning?

Two last comments on the visit to the Reebok, I was impressed by the remembrance tribute to Gary Speed, and despite the actual temperature being colder than I remember it over the last few visits, when the final whistle went that I realised it`s the warmest I`ve felt at the Reebok in the last few years.

Paul Thorp



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Writer:Barry Worthington
Date:Thursday February 16 2012
Time: 8:48AM

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