After Thoughts on: Beating the Blues

Steve Bardens

Two weeks, two games and two wins; it has been a long time since I have had the opportunity to say that. Wigan though are on the up and while I have the chance I am going to bask in the glory of our cup success and climbing out of the bottom three in the league.

Away at Huddersfield, and Wigan had a really good chance of going to the quarter finals of the FA Cup. Roberto Martinez seeing the possible boost to morale for the players went with a pretty strong side. The returning Arouna Kone started up front, along with January signings of Joel, Pauls Scharner and Roger Espionza.

Add a sprinkling of young talent (Roman Golobart, Fraser Fyvie and Callum McManaman) and you have a really good chance of winning a game, and that is exactly what happened. We were happy to settle on the ball and play our football. Huddersfield allowing us to, and that cost them. We got the ball down and pushed and probed going forward, and it was wonderful to see such an inspirational performance from Callum McManaman.

The winger was by far the best player on the pitch. The Hudderfield right back couldn’t cope with Callum going inside or outside of him; and the nephew of the former Liverpool great Steven McManaman managed to grab a goal and an assist.

It was an all-round good performance by a side which was meant to be struggling. We bossed the midfield and going forward we looked sharp and likely to score when we got forward. Even when Huddersfield piled on the pressure our defence held firm. Yet again Roman Golobart impressing as the young defender shows just what he can do.

So if it was good to see our lads win 4-1 against a Championship side. It was even better to stare at amazement as we demoralized a battling Reading side away from home.

Reading seem to have a knack at doing well in front of their own fans. But come Saturday it wasn’t happening, Latics had their game plan sorted and we controlled the middle and yet again looked to play our passing game. Even though we didn’t threaten much, Franco Di Santo first one to come close, we were good money for our 2-0 lead at half time.

The second was a brilliant flowing move which shows just what we can do on the counter attack when we do it properly. While the third goal, just after the half time break is a piece of sublime passing. Maynor Figueroa’s run to open the Reading defence, and the one-two flowing football allowed the Honduran to slip into the box to slot home his first league goal of the season.

Comfortable control in the second half, as Reading where then sent down to 10 men, and we had no rush to push for more goals. The three points the big win of the day.

We have set ourselves on a good footing going into March. Three home games on the trot now, facing Liverpool, Newcastle United and Norwich all three are winnable league games. Chuck in an away cup tie against Everton and we have ourselves a very interesting month ahead.

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