Wigan Athletic 12th Man - 29/03/12
This weeks Wigan Evening Post 12th Man page features three contributions from Vital Latics:
Maloney Adds Crucial Spark
What a fantastic result, a first ever win at Anfield and a great team performance to boot, bar a ten minute patch just after half-time the Latics bossed the game from start to finish and could have come away with an even healthier score line than the 2-1 they got. The introduction of Shaun Maloney into the team recently has put a real spark into the Latics attacking threat, where's he been all season?
On Saturday Maloney once again had an influential game and he notched his first Latics goal when he opened the scoring with a well executed penalty
Special mention though must go to club captain Gary Caldwell, he took his goal, which effectively won the game for the Latics, like a seasoned goal poacher, the Scotland international also had a fantastic game at the heart of the defence.
Caldwell has stepped up to the mantle recently and on Saturday he led his team like a lion. When you are fighting at the foot of the table you need brave players and Caldwell certainly sets an example for his team-mates to follow.
The Latics support was singled out for praise, Roberto Martinez and Dave Whelan both commenting on how the fans inspired the players and Gary Caldwell said the good support got an extra 10% out of the lads.
This Saturday Stoke are in town and it is important that we don't rest on our laurels but carry on with the spirit and form that we have shown in recent games. It is also important for the fans to get behind the team again, this can genuinely lift the players.
If you have an hour to spare on Saturday then get down to the DW for 12:45 at the corner of the East/South stand, the recent home game against West Brom saw a group of fans arrive early to cheer the players as they arrived at the ground, this will be repeated this weekend in an attempt to get the lads fired up and ready to face Stoke, we're in this together.
Closer To Survival
A small step was taken towards safety on Saturday, It was however a giant leap for Wigankind.
History was made on Saturday, as the Latics gained their first 3 points at Anfield. I completely accept that we might remain perilously positioned within the drop zone, but across the whole season I have been telling fellow fans we're better than the league suggests. The mental confidence boost of such a historic win is worth far more than the 3 points.
It now seems we might be starting to achieve the results we are capable of, just when it matters most, with a team that will start next season as well. I have never had any doubt that we are capable of producing the goods when we need to (well maybe little ones). What does worry me though is that we've yet to 'kick on', and produce when it would be really helpful to do so, but not absolutely necessary to do so. Whenever we've had opportunity to kick on, we've fluffed our lines. We have yet to put a run together and start to look like a solid mid table outfit. The thing that is different this time round is the upcoming fixtures. They all look difficult, and we are at our best when we're up against it.
We won on merit, we've shown were better than at least half the division when we shape up, and the captains comments after the game tells me the squad know they still have work to do, the true benefit of this win will only be felt if we build on it. It all unravels unless we build on it. We've shot ourselves in the foot enough already this season, it's about time the gun was pointing somewhere else. More of the same please, and if we can be leading by a couple of goals as we reach the end of the game please, then I don't have to sweat my way through the last 5 minutes, that would be fantastic.
Rally The Troops
In the recent weeks Wigan Athletic have again started the big turnaround that will again put egg on the faces of all the pundits. Terrific performances at Norwich, home to WBA and finally away at Liverpool.
The fans are turning out and being positive, not negative and the players who are only human are responding. There is some great talent in this squad and if they can get the decisions and bounces that they were denied earlier in the season then safety from relegation will be achieved before the last match against Wolves.
All Wigan football fans should be very proud of Latics achievements over the last few years and really get behind the team. Crowds are up and this will always help to build a good atmosphere, so come on you soccer men and women get behind this big push.
Before the West Brom game about 100 fans met Roberto outside the ground and then went to meet and greet the players at the car park. The reaction from the players was very positive and no doubt helped their performance. A similar meet and greet is planned for this Saturday against Stoke.
Fans attending are asked to meet at the players car park just over the bridge for 12:50pm to greet the lads at about 1pm as they arrive for the game. Get down early and join the group and lets show the rest of the country that once again 'We are Wigan' and proud of it.
Latics and Proud
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