As we look forward to tomorrow’s game with Wigan, we caught up with our friends over at Vital Wigan to ask them a few questions ahead of the game.
As we look forward to tomorrow’s game with Wigan, we caught up with our friends over at Vital Wigan to ask them a few questions ahead of the match. We ask about Wigan’s superb FA Cup success last year, expectations for this season, the dismissal of Owen Coyle and the appointment of Uwe Rosler.
1. What were your expectations before the season started and have they changed after your stuttering start?
I fully expected us to be up there challenging for the automatic spots along with yourselves and QPR, we have a good squad of players who should be more than capable of competing at the top end of the Championship, but that`s all gone by the way side, I`d be more than happy with a playoff spot come the end of the season
2. Last season must have been bitter sweet for Wigan, but would you rather have not won the FA Cup and stayed up, or would you rather have it the way it is now?
Very much bitter sweet, strange emotions indeed, we effectively knew we`d go down when we lost at home to Swansea the Tuesday before the cup final, we led twice in that game, Swansea just weren`t interested and we messed it up, very low, but come the Saturday and to be appearing in the FA cup final, well what a buzz
The greatest day of my life bar none and I wouldn`t swap it for anything, I`d take relegation all night long to win the cup, absolute brilliant feeling, and we did win it, City didn`t lose it we won it, we were the best team and won on merit, I still pinch myself when I look back, just so much to be proud of, absolutely fantastic day
3. The void of Roberto Martinez was obviously a big one to fill, but one Owen Coyle couldn`t do. Did you agree with his dismissal and why did it not work out at Wigan considering the ability in your squad?
Yes without a doubt, under Martinez we became known for our style of football, Coyle is the anti-Martinez, what Roberto built at the club, with our footballing ethos Coyle dismantled very quickly. He was the wrong man from the start, I wasn`t aware of one Latics fan that wanted him or was happy with the appointment
Whelan has acted quickly to rectify the mistake, there has been a lot of rumours over training techniques, tactical nous (or lack of) and disharmony, what is for sure is that he couldn`t get the best out of a talented bunch of players, just six league wins from sixteen games, considering the quality of our squad, is pretty poor
4. What did you think of the appointment of Uwe Rosler as manager? Did you have any personal choices that you would have had over him?
More than happy with Rosler, he sings from a similar hymn sheet to Martinez, plays his football on the ground and already we look a different team, he says he wants to play a high tempo game with the emphasis on possession, closing down the opponents high up the pitch and attacking in numbers, his first league game was last Sundays derby win against the neighbours from over the hill, so he`s got off to a great start, he was my preferred choice once I heard he was available, very excited with his appointment
5. Do you think the Europa League has affected your league form?
It must have had some impact, travelling to deepest Russia and Slovenia, though we only lost one game after a European tie, winning 4 and drawing one it didn`t seem to effect us too much, what an experience as well, Europa League nights at the DW have been fantastic and we have taken large numbers away also, 4,000 went to Belgium!
6. Who are your stand out players in the side at the moment?
Nick Powell and Leon Barnett have been our two most consistent players so far this season, Powell is class and Barnett a beast, McManaman looks like he is coming into a bit of form and James McClean is starting to find his feet with us
7. If you could take any Reading player at the moment, who would it be and why?
Adam Le Fondre, simple we need a goal scorer
8. What starting XI and shape do you expect to see on Saturday from Rosler?
We will line up 4-3-3 , as for personnel, well at this stage it is a pure guess because he says he wants to rotate to give all teh players a chance to get their fitness levels up, if I had to guess I`d go – Carson – Boyce, Ramis, Barnett, Beausejour – McCann, McArthur, Watson – McManaman, Powell, Holt
9. What is your prediction for the game?
I`m going for a 1-1