Talking football: Signs Latics are about to cut loose

Paul Cook
Paul Cook

Wigan Athletic have scored a total of two goals in their last two home games against struggling Northampton and Plymouth – and picked up six points.

On the flip side, the two goals they managed at promotion contenders Peterborough last weekend wasn’t even good enough to secure a point.

Indeed the performance on the road at Posh was, for the majority, as good as we’ve seen from Latics this term.

But a failure to put away the number of chances generated came back to bite them on the backside as the backline cracked on three occasions.

In contrast, the performance against Northampton was patchy and, although it was better against Plymouth, they were still lacking cohesion in the final third.

But with the defence managing to hold on for a clean sheet, it meant one goal enough on both occasions.

Against Northampton, thanks to a wonder-goal from Michael Jacobs.

Against Plymouth, thanks to a (rather fortuitous) penalty from Nick Powell.

With 10 games gone, Latics have conceded just six goals all season. Take out the Peterborough game, and it’s only three from nine games.

And it’s that record that will probably be of most comfort to boss Paul Cook at the moment.

He knows that, sooner or later, the forward line will find their collective feet on a regular basis.

If the defence can continue to prove difficult to break down, that will only bode well for the rest of the season.

After this weekend’s visit of mid-table Walsall, Latics will have played roughly a quarter of their fixtures.

A win would see them reach 25 points which, over the course of the campaign, would have them on course to smash through the 100-point barrier.

The fact Shrewsbury are currently four points clear of Latics show how good they’ve been so far.

But while they continue to get the job done in a functional manner, Latics on the other hand are showing signs they are about to really cut loose.

Which is a very good position to be in for Cook and Co.

It’s obviously not been the best start to the season for our good friends over at Horwich (stop laughing at the back!).

But you know it’s bad when the North West Motorway Police are getting stuck in, as they did with the following tweet at the weekend.

“Have a safe journey but remember the speed cameras on the M6 are working so don’t speed or you’ll end up with more points than Bolton.”

Even Sky’s Jeff Stelling got in a dig, which I don’t think was intended, but which caused a smile.

“Goodness me the Championship table looks bad if you’re a Sunderland or Birmingham fan, two big clubs...Bolton are down there as well...”

I wouldn’t say Harry Kane is in form this year...

But his 34 goals so far in 2017 is more than the team tallies for Southampton (33), Swansea (33), Burnley (32), Watford (31), Stoke (28), West Brom (27) and Crystal Palace (26)!

Edinson Cavani has reportedly turned down an offer of one million euros to allow Neymar to take penalties for PSG.

Blimey...how much must his goal bonus be?

The crowd of 7,868 at the DW on Tuesday night included 326 travelling fans from Plymouth.

A round-trip consisting of a mere 600 miles.

I’m not sure what each and every one of them deserves more – a round of applause or their heads read!

Probably both.

It’s a big day for Ashton Athletic on Saturday as they entertain Chorley in the FA Cup, in front of the BBC cameras

(kick-off 12.30pm).

And what a wonderful gesture from Mark Hayes, the chairman of local rivals Ashton Town, to offer free admission to any Athletic fans who wish to also take in Town’s 3pm kick-off against Knutsford.

Best wishes to both clubs, and hopefully Latics can make it a perfect hat-trick with victory over Walsall at the DW.