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First Team

Hot Off The Press: Wigan Athletic

Paul Kendrick of The Wigan Observer previews our trip north from an opposition perspective

9 November 2019

In their second season back in the Championship, Wigan are just about keeping their heads above water with 15 points from their opening 15 games. How have things gone so far this season?

Things have gone 'okay' I suppose, looking at the table, but there's a feeling around the club - and with good reason - that there's been a few points been left out there on the field, which would have made the standings look much better.

Late goals shipped in each of the last three games meant a one-point return instead of four - when the performances arguably deserved three wins. But generally they've been very strong at home, like last year, which should give them added confidence ahead of the weekend.

Much has been made of the stark contrast between the Latics’ home and away form, which has seen them win just two games on the road since the beginning of last season. Why do you think it’s differed quite so drastically?

It's a question we've been asking since the beginning of last season, and no-one - players, managers, staff, local journalists - are any the wiser! Quite how the same group of players, with the same manager, in the same system, can consistently return results so different at home and away defies all logic.

Paul Cook's even tweaked the formation in recent weeks, with an extra central midfielder brought in, and it's not made any difference to the disparity in results.

Scottish midfielder Lewis Macleod joined the club after his release by Brentford in the summer – how has he fared in the opening months of the season?

He's settled in very well, to be fair. After impressing in the first couple of games, he dropped out of the side at the expense of Joe Williams, which led to a couple of months on the sidelines. But since being recalled in the last month, he's been performing well in a new formation - with an extra man in midfield - and looks right at home. A very good signing.

Wigan-Dunkley.jpg

Which member of Paul Cook’s squad has impressed you most so far?

You'd have to say Chey Dunkley, who's scored five goals already from centre-back - no-one else in the squad has more than one!

Joe Williams has also impressed in midfield, Kieffer Moore ploughs the lone furrow up top with an incredible work-rate, and watch out for England Under-18 star Joe Gelhardt off the bench if he gets a chance. A real star of the future.

How are Wigan likely to set up at the weekend?

It should again be a 4-3-2-1 formation, with Kieffer Moore looking for support from those in behind him.

What’s your score prediction for the game?

Wigan are so strong at home, I'm going to call a home win. 2-0. 


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