Wigan Athletic 12th Man - 01/02/13
This weeks Wigan Evening Post 12th Man feature has two contributions from Vital Latics:
A Good Week On The Whole
A good week for positive results, a win at Macclesfield and a draw at Stoke have definitely given the club a boost ahead of the big game against Southampton on Saturday
The FA cup tie at Moss Rose was a trip down memory lane for some of the older Latics fans and a glimpse of 'how it used to be' for those under the age of 20.
A rousing cup tie saw a much changed Latics take an early lead and hold onto it despite some late pressure from a very determined Macclesfield. We saw a debut in goal for loan signing Joel Robles, the big Spaniard did really well, assured handling and a big presence in the box, the Latics fans really took to him with some inspired chanting in his direction, all good fun.
Through to the 5th round for only the second time in our history and a not too bad draw either, Wembley in May, sounds nice.
Roman Golobart and Roger Espinoza both got starts at Macclesfield and their performances impressed Martinez enough to hand them both their first starts in the Premier League at Stoke on Tuesday.
After a poor first half showing, and falling two goals behind by 47 minutes, the Latics stepped up a gear for the final forty or so minutes, a scintillating performance for the remainder of the game blew Stoke away and we were very unfortunate not to have won the game
Both Golobart and Espinoza stood up very well to the challenge, Golobart hardly putting a foot wrong at the centre of the defence, whilst Espinoza had a hand in both Latics goals and his drive and energy are a real asset to the team
If we could have started the game with that intensity and level of play then we'd have undoubtedly taken all three points, but a point away at Stoke is nothing to turn your nose up at, and it leads us nicely into what is a massive game this Saturday
Southampton are in town, a real six pointer if ever there was one, this game must be earmarked for three points, it's important for the fans to get behind the lads from the off, let's recreate the atmosphere's from the back end of last season, let's get a win and move further up that table
The Spirit And Grit Is Back
It's been a week when we have been tested by 2 away trips, and remained unbeaten. So it can't by any stretch be called a bad week. It's not quite been a good week either.
F.A. Cup games away to lower league opposition are one thing and one thing only, they are Banana skins, which a top team has to try and avoid. It's like paying bills, you can't ever pay a bill impressively, you either achieve what's expected, or you fail. Put six past them and 'it's to be expected'. Put ten past them and it's because of the gulf in class. Nobody ever praises a top team for beating a little one. The fact is we achieved what was necessary, even if the style was lacking somewhat. The management had another chance to look at squad players in a real situation, and they will have gained from the day. It wasn`t the greatest overall performance, but we did what we needed to and some players proved they are ready for sturdier tasks. Ultimately we`re in the next round. A Test passed, but not by much.
The second away day of the week was the trip to Stoke, where lady luck offered up a cruel deflection that saw us fall a goal behind. Stoke doubled their lead just after half time, and we could have seen the classic scenario of the team talk going out of the window and them cruising to a victory as heads drop. What we saw though, was the spirit and grit of this squad showing itself again. They refused to give up and fought back to gain a point. A Harder test passed, but not with the result we wanted.
On the balance of the game it is a pity Stoke wasn't converted to a win, but what we saw was far more important than that. We saw a team that was starting to flow again and was a joy to watch. Some of the passing and moving was sublime, and there was one particular period where we controlled the ball for that long, you counted it in time, not the number of passes. The fact we are again showing quality passing and moving, and controlling games is what will see us right for the rest of the season. We're again close to delivering some very good weeks, never mind the ones that are 'not bad' or 'quite good'.
The latest edition of the PWU Wigan Athletic podcast is now available for download.
This week in the studio are Barry, Dan, Rob, Greg, Paul and Gareth who discuss in detail the FA cup away day at Macclesfield (00:00), terrace songs and player performances. The Premier League game at Stoke (12:00) is also reviewed, what a great come back, two nil down and almost won it.
There is a preview of Saturday's Premier League game against Southampton at the DW Stadium (30:00)
We finish off the proceedings with a look at potential transfer deadline day signings (47:00)
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The PWU crew
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