UWE Rosler admits there will be a sense of ‘what-might-have-been’ as he watches tonight’s Europa League action.
Latics have had the rare luxury of a full week on the training ground readying themselves for this weekend’s trip to Nottingham Forest.
But had they not exited the Europa League in controversial circumstances before Christmas, they could easily have been over in Spain preparing for a round-of-16 second leg clash against Sevilla tonight.
Instead, Maribor – who pipped Latics for second spot in the group behind Rubin Kazan – have that honour.
They took advantage of Chris McCann’s controversial red card to overcome Latics 2-1 in the final group game to sneak second spot.
And Rosler is still seething at the course of events that ensured his first game as Latics boss was memorable for the wrong reasons.
“I was very disappointed that we lost that final game against Maribor, because we should have won it,” Rosler told the Evening Post.
“I felt the referee took the game away from us that night.
“It was our chance to play against Sevilla, which would have been a great experience – I would have loved to have done that.
“On the flip side, having gone through what we have gone through in the last few months since I’ve been here, having another couple of league games rescheduled would have been very difficult to cope with.
“I really don’t know how we would have finished the season had we got through.”
With Latics already having to fit in several midweek fixtures between now and the end of the season – thanks partly to their run to the quarter-finals of the FA Cup – it is hard to see how they could have coped with extra Europa League commitments
They currently sit one point out of the play-off places with a game in hand over sixth-placed Reading.
Fifth-placed Forest are only six points clear, having played a game more, ahead of Saturday’s meeting.
l TICKETS for the FA Cup quarter-final tie at Manchester City continue to go like hot cakes.
Wigan’s allocation in the lower tier has already been snapped up, with only upper tier tickets remaining.
Any tickets left will go on general sale tomorrow, to supporters with a previous booking history, priced £22.50 adults, £15 over-65s and 16-21 year-olds, and £5 under-16s.