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Editors Blog: 2013 a Year to Remember for Wigan Athletic

This time 12 months ago, I don't think anyone in the world of football saw what was going to happy to our club. After a long list of injuries our players were on their way back and we had a run of games that were winnable. Get a few points we could have been mid-table and flying.

Shaun Botterill

Looking back now it is easy to point fingers and say what went wrong; the continual injuries to key defensive players, the lack of January signings (or lack of luck in January), players our of form in key games. Then you look at the club run and the games there were our team really showed their class.

Had we kept that group of players fit and healthy for the full season, I think it would have been an even bigger year for the Latics. As it is we have to make do with just an FA Cup win, oh dear me!

Looking back of the end of the Roberto Martinez era it is hard to say what cost us the most for our League status. Was it the injuries, was it the managers lack of a plan B, or was it the cup run that finally took its toll. Earlier in the year it was the lack of ability to tie games down.

In the second half of the year we had the lead in four games. Had we gone onto win those games it would have been an extra nine points. That would have lifted us comfortably into 11th place on 45 points. What a huge difference winning the games you take the lead in would have made!

Saying that I would take winning the FA Cup over survival. We did something that a team hasn't done in a long time in the FA Cup and that was bring the win for the Underdog back. We were such rank outsiders that none was giving us a chance of winning the game, that it just felt like we would.

Every Wiganer in that stadium had a feeling we could do it. It seem fated that the year we would go down, something bigger would happen to us in the cup.

Yet with mixed results on the pitch. Turmoil off it was sure to follow. The departure of Roberto Martinez meant the strings that held the team together fell apart as our FA Cup winning squad was broken apart. Players leaving on free transfers, and others deciding to join Martinez himself at Everton.

Dave Whelan took his time to find the new man, and we got Owen Coyle. I will now to try and fairly judge what that man did to this club. Over pre-season I was really happy with what I saw both on and off the pitch. Some very good acquisition, pre-season performances were very good and things didn't seem as bad as we had feared.

Start the season and the 4-0 battering of Barnsley saw the clubs confidence lift and the fans looked on Owen Coyle a little better.

It still took time for us to adjust but under Owen Coyle we managed to have a fantastic home record. Away from home we were poor. No tactical plans and lack of team fitness began to shine through from Coyle's men as they couldn't complete a full 90 minutes.

Eventually after five defeats on the bounce he had to go to stop the rot. What Coyle will be most remembered for what be any of that though, it will be as the manager who lead us in Europe and gave us our first European goal, wins and points.

Latics six game European adventure will live in my memory and all of ours for years to come as one of the historical moment in our clubs history. Ironically we were the oldest club in our group and it makes you realize how long and well established the game truly is in England.

So has we close out the year we can look back on all the joy and moments of the year. How things have changed though. We started with a Spaniard and via a Scotsman we have ended up with a German in charge. With improved performances under Uwe Rosler the team now have a lot to prove as we start 2014.

If it is has half as good as 2013 we are going to be in for one hell of a ride.