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Season Preview: Wigan Athletic 2-1 Besiktas

Our one and only home friendly of pre-season gave us and Uwe Rosler a great chance to look at and assess the squad ahead of the forthcoming season. I think most would agree we liked what we saw.

Michael Regan

Starting with a fairly strong line up, with a good mixture of our young youth players thrown in for good measure. One thing team selection did show was our lack of senior midfielders. Farser Fyvie and Tim Chow were given the chance to play centrally in what could be an important partnership towards the early stages of the season, James Travenier was also given the chance to play in a midfield role. All

Champions League Besiktas would not be easy opponents and our lads would need to be on top for to get a win. One thing that was very much telling was the work ethic of the squad, everyone was putting a shift in and that high tempo of football that Rosler has looked to instilled at this club is slowly building.

Unfortunately six minutes in it was all too much for Marc Antonie Fortune as he had to leave the pitch, the striker making way for Martyn Waghorn. Early reports suggest a slight hamstring strain for the striker. As it was the switch proved to be a good one over the course of the game as Waghorn would go on to score Wigan's two goals.

The first half an hour in, a fantastic James Travenier cross finding Waghorn's head for the striker to get the ball past the out stretched goalkeeper into the far corner. Great link up play between the two of them, Waghorn wandering off his marker and Travenier picking out the striker.

The lead only lasted two minutes. As a freekick given away on the edge of the box was curled in by Koybasi Ismail into the near corner leaving Scott Carson scrambling to get across to the ball.

The game closed at half time 1-1 and both teams deserved that scoreline. Changes for Wigan saw Ali Al Habsi and Thomas Rogne take to the field. Both of them made a case for being in the starting line ups next season. Al Habsi looks to be getting back to his brilliant best with some great reaction saves, whilst Rogne seems to have put an season of injury behind him to regain at composure and assurance we saw glimpses of earlier on last season.

Six minutes into the half and Wigan were back in front, Callum McManaman who slowly is showing that form of brilliance, nicked in front of Atiba Hutchinson to gain a penalty. Martyn Waghon stepped up and slotted home. 2-1 and you wondered if we might press on.

As it was Uwe Rosler made more changes and Wigan fans got their first real glimpses of Oriol Riera and then Ryan Jennings. Firstly to our La Liga import who looks just every bit the class act, much like Ivan Ramis, the striker has composure in spades and given the right service should get some goals for Wigan. Jennings on the other hand is a Wigan academy graduate and showed why there has been a lot of hope for the lad, fast on the ball and defiantly a player who could force is way into the Wigan side.

It was a game to show some new faces, and for old ones to start staking their claim for the new season. While we maybe struggling for fit midfielders it does look like we have a squad of players who can challenge well in the forth coming season.