The Elusive Three In A Row - Wigan Athletic
'We want to win every single game, not just in the last third of the season'
Roberto Martinez - Sept 2012
Saturday's game against West Brom heralds the rare opportunity in most team's season to win three league games in a row. In the short top flight football life of Wigan Athletic, these moments are even more precious. Taking away the indescribable form that brought so many wins at the back end of last season....and off the top my head, I vaguely remember a run of 5 straight wins under Steve Bruce; this is a chance not to be passed up.
If we look at those last two occasions it signifies for more than playing well for 3 games in a row. The 5 straight wins under Bruce just before Christmas, more or less guaranteed safety and gave us the last middle table finish in living memory, and of course we all know what happened last season! It's more than luck, more than form, more than playing poor teams. These 3 factors do come into play, however it shows a maturity and a team that is beginning to 'know how to win'. For teams who struggle or in a relegation fight, this becomes a lost trait and something that is hard to rediscover, as Southampton are finding out. After an excellent championship season where winning became a habit, 3 months into the season it has become alien to them.
Beating West Ham, for me, was a game we should, and did win. Tottenham away was a real achievement; despite the same score line the last time we won at White Hart Lane, the performances couldn't have been more different. The first win was a battle hardened, defensive display in which we smash and grabbed it with a last minute Rodallega goal. This time, we dominated, miss great chances in the first half and stifled everything they had to throw at us. It's another game, this season, I can remember thinking half way through, 'We are going to regret these miss chances because we won't play this well all game', only to be proved wrong again.
9 points out of 9 can move a team into a different sub league within the Premier League, whether it's from relegation to mid table or from top 10 to top 6. This is why it is crucial that Latics don't become complacent in these unfamiliar surroundings and embrace this form. In doing so other teams consider you more of a threat, start planning how not to lose to you rather than how to beat us. The media no longer mentions you when talking about the bottom six, which relives that ongoing pressure that players and clubs feel when they are in the midst of battle. These small seemingly insignificant factors can all contribute to a good season and continue the winning. Long may the run continue.
The latest PWU podcast is now available for download. This weeks podcast reviews the Spurs game at the weekend, what a cracking result and performance that was, also the guys look ahead to this coming Saturday`s visit by West Brom to the DW Stadium
In the studio at Beech Hill Book Cycle we have special guest Paul Kendrick, the Wigan Evening Post's Latics correspondent, also Greg Farrimond of the Wigan Observer joins in the chat with regulars Barry, Dan, Gareth, Rob and Paul
You can download the podcast from itunes, from our hosting site www.buzzsprout.com/ or simply play from the embedded player below
Latics and Proud
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