WIGAN Athletic fans have been arriving in Slovenia ahead of the side’s crunch Europa League match against NK Maribor.
The 2012 European Capital of culture is so far providing a cold but friendly welcome to Latics supporters who have made the long journey.
Around 1,000 are expected to head to the Ljudski vrt Stadium for the match, with the first groups started arriving yesterday.
Already fans are mulling around the beautiful city which boasts a picturesque river and beautiful buildings.
A square in Maribor city centre has been designated for Latics fans and a big stage was erected with stalls selling local food and alcohol.
Some supporters headed to the ground itself and watched on as the team held an open training session with new boss Uwe Rosler.
It’ll be the German’s first game in charge tonight before the league game against Bolton on Sunday.
Helen and Rob Foster, from Up Holland, travelled over as part of the club’s VIP package and say they have been made to feel more than welcome.
“It’s such a lovely city,” said Rob. “We arrived earlier on and have had a walk round and I have to say the locals have been very friendly.
“Latics fans have taken over the Hotel City and we’ll have even more tomorrow for the game.
“We’re really looking forward to Uwe’s first game now and we’re really hoping for a win.”
Helen added: “We promised ourselves we would go to all the Europa League away games.
“This is cold but not as cold as Russia. We’ve enjoyed them all, let’s just hope this isn’t the last one.”
Latics need to win tonight and rely on Rubin Kazan beating Zulte Waregem if they are to progress.
If the dream scenario happens then they will enter the last 32 of the competition and have the chance of drawing a side who has dropped out of the Champions League.