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Pre-season Round Up

With six games over the course of a month, the lads couldn’t be in better shape going into the first game of the season. With five wins and one defeat the clubs and players are in excellent form; so how is the team shaping up? Are we ready to face Barnsley on Saturday?

Chris Brunskill

Columbus Crew 1-2 Wigan Athletic

A great start to the pre-season as Latics kick started their American campaign with a win. Six of our seven new signings featured as Wigan held a firing Crew team to 0-0 at half time. Then a couple of changes at half time (James McCarthy and Callum McManaman) saw the game fall into Wigan hands as James McCarthy headed the ball home with his first touch of the game.

Then it was doubled when Marc-Antoine Fortune scored his first goal for the club as he rolled the ball under the on rushing keeper. Frazer Fyvie slotting the ball through to the forward to help him get his first goal for the club.

Dayton Dutch Lions 1-6 Wigan Athletic

A dominating performance for Wigan yet again on their USA tour; five different goal scorer got on the score sheet. Marc-Antoine Fortune and James McCarthy continued their fantastic start both scoring goals apiece.

Then a second half which saw four goals clocked up; Grant Holt taking to the field for the first time for the Latics at half time and the striker managing to score a brace for the Latics, one coming from the penalty spot. Holt actually scored against Wigan keeper Lee Nicholls who had finished in goal for the opposition after an injury to their goalkeeper.

Then came the young boys, and Nouah Dicko and Rakish Bingham both managed to get on the score sheet and showed just what they are capable of; two young men to watch in the forthcoming season.

Riverhounds 1-4 Wigan Athletic

The last of our American games, and a four goal blitz saw the team continue their impressive form in front of goal. Yet so far we had not managed a clean sheet and that as well continued. The players all looking on sync, yet the players couldn’t hit the same intensity that they had hit in the past two games.

Yet with it being the third game in five days the player’s legs were starting to tire. That didn’t stop the lads finding the net as Grant Holt, Roger Espionza, Jordi Gomez and Emerson Boyce all got on the score sheet.

All smiles then as the Wigan players head home.

Wigan Athletic 2-1 Atromitos

Wigan playing in Leigh managed to beat the Greek side thanks to two first half goals. Marc-Antoine Fortune the man of the game, first managing to win a penalty. The striker latching onto a defensive mistake before being brought down. That meant Jordi Gomez stepped up and slotted the ball home.

Fortune managed to get a goal before the end of the half. The striker controlling a forward ball from Frazer Fyvie, brought the ball down and then rifled the ball home to make it 2-0 before the end of the half.

Second half and the pace dropped off. Owen Coyle making five changes as the gaffer wanted to try out all of his new signings on home soil.

Morecambe 0-1 Wigan Athletic

A tough game for Wigan as a well organised and well drilled Morecambe pushed us hard. Yet the Latics defence and keeper (Scott Carson) who were tested rigorously stood well and firm to get our first clean sheet of the pre-season.

This game continued to go against our other pre-season performances as we struggled in front of goal, only managing to score after a fantastic thunderbolt from Marc-Antoine Fortune settled the game on the 76th minute.

A tough one and a possible worrying one, but with so many games in quick succession tiredness could be a possible reason for the below par performance.

Wigan Athletic 0-1 Dundee United

The final friendly, the first home game and the first defeat; after five consecutive defeats, a Dundee United thunderbolt burst the Wigan bubble and makes you wonder are we ready?

But take away the result and the performance was something to take heart from. The first half was all Wigan we looked controlled and untroubled as we kept the ball and wanted to work openings in front of goal.

Thomas Rogne came close to scoring on his debut, the Norwegian on the stretch but the ball hitting the top of the net. Only a few minutes later the player was being stretchered off and could be a doubt for the first game of the season.

Yet a second half strike from Dundee player Ciftci won the game for the Scottish club. Even a stream of continued Wigan pressure saw the game closed out 1-0 for the Tangerines.

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Five wins and only one defeat, not a bad pre-season for Latics; could that now spark the start of a fantastic season? The hints are all there for Wigan.

Two strikers who are on form and scoring goals, a goalkeeper who looks revitalized (even if he kept only one clean sheet). The midfielders all on for chipping in with a few goals themselves while dominating the possession.

The signs are good, let’s hope the season will be.