Talking Football: An eventful trip to the Potteries and a look ahead to Fleetwood

The Wigan Evening Post's finest, Richard Bean and Greg Farrimond, were on opposing sides at the weekend
The Wigan Evening Post's finest, Richard Bean and Greg Farrimond, were on opposing sides at the weekend

WIGAN Athletic’s trip to Port Vale had been ringed in the diary since the summer for a couple of my esteemed colleagues at Evening Post Towers.

As many of you will know, chief reporter Richard Bean is a lifelong (and VERY long-suffering) Vale supporter.

And, as a result, a constant source of amusement from young Greg Farrimond over the years.

Well it’s fair to say Beaney had his day on Saturday, and will be living off the result until the return clash on January 30.

With both of them on crutches after recent mishaps, it fell to yours truly to act as chauffeur for the day as well as usual reporting duties.

Thankfully there was no crutch-based squabbling in the back seat on the way home, with there being no real argument over the result.

Speaking of Greg, special mention for him wanting to do Sunday’s Graet North Run for the Joseph’s Goal charity with a double stress fracture of his foot.

A plan he fully intended to see through until his mum got wind and nipped it in the bud, labelling him “a pillock” in the process.

WIGAN Athletic and Fleetwood Town were separated by an incredible EIGHT divisions only a decade ago.

But after a couple of relegations for Latics, and an impressive six promotions from the Cod Army, the two sides will do battle at the DW Stadium as equals this weekend.

Of course, long-time Latics fans will be fully appreciative of the journey undertaken by Town, having made a similar ascent through the divisions in recent years.

And it’s impossible not to look at the achievements on the Fylde Coast and marvel in absolute amazement.

Having said that, all that goes out of the window come 3pm on Saturday, with another massive three points up for grabs.

Latics again showed their frustrating inconsistent side at Port Vale at the weekend, slipping to their third defeat out of four on the road.

In all four away games they’ve slipped two goals behind, and that has to be a massive area of concern for boss Gary Caldwell with derbies at Oldham and Bury to come in the next month.

Thankfully it’s been a different story on home soil, with Latics having picked up seven points out of nine at the DW and yet to concede a goal.

Hopefully Latics can fill the Cod Army’s net and keep in touch with the play-off picture.

Because if Caldwell’s men are there or thereabouts come the turn of the year, their quality and strength in depth should allow them to come on strong in the second half of the campaign.

LEE Nicholls departure to Bristol Rovers last week was the SIXTH time he’s been farmed out on loan.

With Ali Al Habsi and Scott Carson having moved on in the summer, it was expected Nicholls would challenge Rich O’Donnell for the No.1 shirt this term.

But the arrival of the vastly-experienced Jussi Jaaskelainen quickly pointed to another loan move.

Of course, the 22-year-old is still only young for a goalkeeper, who often don’t come into their prime until the age of 30.

And hopefully he’ll use his time at the Memorial Stadium to get some valuable game-time under his belt and return to the DW ready to challenge in the long term.

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As massive Millers fans the Chuckle Brothers would say: “Oh dear. Oh dear.”