Talking football: Promotion party rocks despite last-day defeat

Latics celebrate their League One title
Latics celebrate their League One title

There’s nothing like a miserable home defeat to completely ruin a trophy-winning afternoon.

Said absolutely zero Wigan Athletic supporters at the weekend!

Okay, so a 4-1 bashing by Barnsley wasn’t the way Gary Caldwell and his men wanted to sign off for the summer.

But as captain Craig Morgan pointed out, the hard work had already been done over the previous 45 games.

Fans of Scunthorpe – who lost out out to Barnsley for the final play-off berth on goal difference – probably won’t see it that way.

However, no club wins a title, or misses out on the play-offs, because of one game.

It’s what happened over the course of the campaign, and Scunny – who spent the previous 45 rounds outside the play-off spots – will know, deep down, they weren’t quite good enough.

In the end, Wigan’s 87-point tally was 13 short of David Sharpe’s pre-season target, but a more than impressive haul for a rookie manager-chairman combo.

There will be bigger challenges ahead, of course, but the momentum and feel-good factor surrounding the DW at present should see Latics hit the ground running next season.

But that thought is for another day.

The club, and the town, is still enjoying this one.

And judging by the scenes in the town centre on Sunday night, it’s going to be enjoyed for some time yet.

Certainly by the players, who are off to Las Vegas as a reward for their efforts over the last nine months.

No-one deserves the trip more than David Perkins, who swept the board at the Player of the Year awards.

And who has already planned his itinerary for ‘Sin City’.

It involves, Perkins revealed, an unbrella – to shade him from the sun – and beer.

Which not a single Latics fan who’s enjoyed watching him and his colleagues this term will begrudge him in the slightest.

Cheers – and see you all in August!

Emyr Huws was this week named in the 29-man Wales training squad for this summer’s European Championships.

The midfielder has spent the past season on loan at Huddersfield, after apparently telling Gary Caldwell he didn’t want to play in League One.

With Latics now of course back up in the Championship, it’ll be interesting to see if Huws is welcomed back with open arms.

He may have some work to do to rebuild a few bridges, but the undoubted quality he possesses could make him one of the first big ‘signings’ of next term.

It’ll be a shame if the last we’ll see of Chris McCann, out of contract this summer, in a Latics shirt was his petulant sending-off in stoppage-time against Barnsley.

But as my colleague James Illingworth was quick to query, will he be suspended for the forthcoming trip to Las Vegas?

While the Hillsborough tragedy has been, rightly, in the news of late, the football family has this week also been mourning the victims of the Bradford City fire.

Incredibly, it’s 31 years since 56 fans went to a football match at Valley Parade and never came home.

RIP.