It’s finally the start of the new season and our opponents this Saturday are Wigan, so we caught up with Vital Wigan editor Barry, ahead of the game.
It’s finally the start of the new season and our opponents this Saturday are Wigan, so we caught up with Vital Wigan editor Barry, ahead of the game. We ask ask him about missing out in the play-offs last season, the transfers Wigan have made, who he expects to have a big season, among other topics.
1. How did it feel to miss out on promotion in the play-offs last year? Do you believe you would have won the final if you would have beaten QPR?
QPR were the worst side in the playoffs, but under Redknapp they played tight constrictive football and it was no surprise that they went up winning by the odd goal in both ties.
It was bitterly disappointing because we had gilt edge chances in the first leg that we didn`t take and that came back to haunt us. Can`t say if we`d have beaten Derby or not but it would have been a very interesting game.
2. What are your expectations for the upcoming season? Has your form under Rosler made you confident of getting automatic promotion this time round?
The impact Rösler made when he came into the club was immediate, we suddenly had tactics and we started to get fitter, we were 16th when he took over and looked out of touch for a playoff spot, but he transformed the squad and the belief was back, I am 100% certain that if he`d been in charge all season we would have gone up automatically.
Our FA cup semi defeat by Arsenal on penalties really took a lot out of the squad, we also lost our top defender Ivan Ramis in that game for the rest of the season, Rösler points to that game as one that effected us most during the run in for various reasons.
With a full season with Rösler in charge I am confident that we can achieve promotion, but there are so many other factors that come into play during a season that you also need a bit of luck on your side, so my hopes are automatic but I am also aware that you can expect anything!
3. What do you make of your transfer dealings so far this window? What else do you reckon you need before the season starts?
Transfer dealings so far have been good, experience and youth, a blend that you cant argue with, excited about our new striker, Oriol Riera from La Liga, 13 goals with Osasuna last season, so hopefully he`ll be a good buy, we have strength in depth throughout though most fans agree we could do with another striker on the books.
4. How good has Uwe Rosler been since he took charge? What do you think he did that Owen Coyle didn`t that just made everything click?
Rösler has been different class, after four years of the fans being educated in football tactics and awareness under Roberto Martinez to suddenly fall back on a bawler and shouter on the touchline in Owen Coyle was a real eye opener, I am just surprised it took so long to make a change.
The big difference between Coyle and Rösler is that Rösler knows what he is doing, we are organised, fit and play with a purpose, none of those were there last autumn.
5. Which one of your players do you reckon could have a big season?
As previously mentioned our new striker Riera is one that we are all looking forward to seeing, but I feel this season it will be Callum McManaman who steps up to the plate, he has been electric in preseason, finally got rid of his niggling ankle problem and a fully fit Macca tearing down on Championship defences will be a sight to behold.
6. If you could take any Reading player, who would it be and why?
Robson-Kanu is a player that I have always liked, so him please, I`d have had Le Fondre but you let him go, why?
7. What starting XI and shape do you expect to see from Rosler on Saturday?
Carson – Perch – Boyce – Ramis – Taylor – McArthur – Cowie – Tavernier – Waghorn – McManaman – Riera
8. What is your prediction for the game?
We are never early flyers, but if we are serious in making a challenge for automatic we can`t afford to get off to a bad start, so with that in mind 2-0 win for the Latics.