IT’S been an eventful season to say the least, but there is still time for Wigan Athletic to achieve their ultimate goal.
An historic first campaign in Europe and the defence of the FA Cup acted as nice side-stories.
But a return to the Premier League has always been the number one priority – and is well within reach.
The weekend win over Bournemouth made it 14 points from the last six games.
And one look at the fixture list gives further cause for optimism.
Wigan’s next six matches are all against sides in the bottom half – the next two against sides in the bottom three. After coming through a testing festive programme with flying colours, the onus now is on Latics to take full advantage against some of the lesser lights.
A similar points return from the next six matches would lift Latics right into the play-off mix, with three months still to go, the likely arrival of fresh blood and the return of Shaun Maloney still to come.
ONE accusation often levied at rugby league fans, and commentators, is that they are too negative.
“Be more positive,” we are urged by people. Usually the same people trying to sell tickets, shirts and TV subscriptions.
Well, I’m trying.
But there is little more than three weeks to go until Wigan’s Super League defence begins.
As of today, there was no title sponsor.
London Broncos don’t have a full squad. They aren’t selling season tickets.
Questions linger over Bradford’s future.
We don’t know who teams will play in the Magic event.
We don’t know if England will play in England this year. There are no Four Nations fixtures confirmed.
And we don’t know what format Super League will take after this year.
A meeting between Super League club bosses on Friday will, hopefully, thrash out an agreement.
A number of ‘rebel’ clubs walked out on a meeting in October in what was seen as a vote of no confidence in the current administrators.
It’s worth remembering the ‘rebel’ clubs are some of the most successful on and off the pitch, and include Wigan and Warrington, owned by hugely successful businessmen Ian Lenagan and Simon Moran respectively.
If only the RFL had such expertise.
The World Cup proved that fans (and, yes, journalists) want to be more positive about the sport.
They want a feel-good factor in the sport. They will pass on praise when it’s deserved. With the new domestic season on the horizon, I wish it wasn’t so easy to be cynical and critical.
England still had the Ashes, Shaun Wane’s Warriors were yet to win the Challenge Cup... and Wigan Harrer Hayley Jones won bronze at the athletics World Championships.
Can you believe that, five months on, she still hasn’t received her medal?
I asked the athletics authorities when she may get it. They couldn’t say.
They better hurry up. There’s another World Championships next year.