Wigan Athletic - 12th Man - 12/04/12
This weeks 12th Man page in the Wigan Evening Post featured two contributions from Vital Latics, written prior to the Latics v Man U game:
It Was A Criminal Outcome
A fantastic performance at Chelsea on Saturday, but such a devastating result. A game that the Latics thoroughly deserved to get something out of, they played with composure, flair, pace, they defended superbly, had a real grip on midfield and looked threatening when going forward. To be undone by not one but two shocking decisions from the assistant referee is criminal
Just one point from the game would have lifted us out of the bottom three, what a psychological boost that would have been, but now Martinez is left with the task of building his players up instead of trying to keep their feet on the ground, we also hear that the gaffer may be set to face questions from the FA for comments he made after the game!
Martinez, although you could see he was seething, was actually quite restrained and he should be praised for the way he handled himself, I can think of several managers that would have really let rip losing a game to such diabolic decisions, but professional as ever Martinez kept his cool on camera.
So robbed against one of the big boys, déjà vu about to set in, it's Manchester United up next. With the title almost in the bag United will undoubtedly breeze into town with their cocky swagger, this could be the perfect game for the Latics to get Saturday's sense of injustice out of their system. Possibly the biggest game of the season at the DW, a game that the players will really need to be up for, a game where the players will need to be at their best and will need real focus.
United may not be the team you'd choose to play when you're desperate for points, but following last weekend's goings on they may just be the team that we do need to face to ensure that the focus is there and we're not feeling sorry for ourselves.
At the start of the season Martinez said 'this is the season we beat Manchester United' I believe him to be right
We Can Beat Champions
Forget being gutted on Saturday, that's passed. In recent weeks we've pasted teams that are mid table, we've beaten one of the aristocratic giants of Europe in Liverpool, at their place. We've won back to back games again, we've been consistently good. The meet and greets are helping stoke up players and fans alike. Even the miserable supporters, who at Christmas has us being relegated with 20 points are starting to believe. The semi finalists of the European cup required more luck than a Euromillions winner, to take points off us. It all points to the fact that on a level playing field we can live with anyone.
It pains me to remember that the playing field may not be level for tonights visit of Manchester United. I am sure everyone connected with Wigan Athletic breathed a collective sigh when they realised tonights match official is going to be Phil Dowd. I call him a match official, as the definition of referee, contains the word impartiality. It does not make sense to appoint a controversial figure for such a game. He's the bloke that ensured my 88 pounds went to waste at Old Trafford, sending off Conor Sammon for what I believe was the fault of the whole team. It wasn't Connor's fault that we were threatening to come back into the game, it was all of the team, but Phil picked on him in making sure we didn't come back into it. His appointment, at this time, means it almost seems inevitable that he will be the talking point in tomorrows papers.
They say that when you're the underdog, you have to play your best and hope the opposition have an off day. United come into the game with a nice gap between them and City, and it's clear that it's their ruthlessness and consistency that have got them where they are, to expect or hope that they have an off day or they relax a bit is wasted hope. I pin my hopes on the fact that if we are at our best, we are no underdogs, we can force them to have an off day with our industry and quality, we can beat them on merit. It's one of the strides forward we have taken under Roberto, we can realistically beat anybody in this league. It's clear we've got a job on our hands. It's a job we are more than capable of doing, on merit, without any help.
Latics and Proud
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