The 12th Man: Latics fans have their say

Donervon Daniels celebrates his goal
Donervon Daniels celebrates his goal

LATICS fans have their say on Wednesday’s 3-0 win over Scunthorpe – and tomorrow’s clash at Gillingham:

In terms of performances, I think Wednesday’s game was the best Wigan display I’ve seen in a good few years.

And it came as a slight surprise to myself considering the slow start we have made to the season.

But I have to give credit to our young manager Gary Caldwell, who is not stubborn enough in his ways, like many managers in today’s game, to see a problem in the previous and act accordingly to fix it.

And he fixed it massively. He switched to two strikers in Will Grigg and Craig Davies, with Michael Jacobs in behind, and it worked superbly. I think that was the original plan all along to pair Davies and Grigg together, and Caldwell must have been frustrated to not have Davies fit enough so far this season.

Grigg was able to flourish with neat touches and footwork, while Davies did the target-man role superbly, as well as also being great with the ball at his feet.

I must give credit to Francisco Junior, who has been a revelation on loan from Everton.

I hope that we do extend his contract until the end of the season because he gives us the drive we’ve been missing from the middle of the field.

It is a massive result in terms of our season, it really seems like we’re off and running now.

I hope the performance wasn’t a one-off and we can build on it, stick with the same team at Gillingham and push further up the League One table!

SAM WHYTE

Something clicked into place on Wednesday night against Scunthorpe.

The signs had been there since pre-season, some lovely passages of play, but just missing a little extra – as the French would say ‘je ne sais quoi’.

But it was certainly there on Wednesday.

The involvement of striker Craig Davies from the start could have been a major factor, as he had an excellent game.

When he had made his cameo appearances previously he looked unfit.

Indeed, it turns out he’d been carrying an injury when he joined, but the backroom staff have worked with him and he was on fire.

It was nice to hear the vast majority of fans applauding the possession football, too.

It is obvious from the way that Gary Caldwell sets the team up that he wants the Latics to control the games, play them at our pace and dictate the rhythm.

That was exactly what occurred on Wednesday.

Each game we have played so far has seen improvement.

The players are starting to gel, and those partnerships all over the pitch are beginning to appear more prominent.

Hopefully we will settle down now to continue the progression.

There is a long way to go in the season.

Just like it was absolutely stupid to get carried away with talk of doom and gloom after one defeat and a draw, so it is to think we will now walk the league after one win.

We, the fans, still need to be patient with the team and management.

We need to excuse the odd error and poor game, but there is a lot to be excited about.

Our strikers are scoring goals, and we have kept two clean sheets on the trot in the league. In fact we have yet to concede a league goal at the DW Stadium.

One clean sheet is something that would have been a blessing last season, so we know how important that is in the grand scheme of things.

We move on to a stern test away at Gillingham on Saturday.

They have had a great start to the new campaign, beating both early-season favourites Sheffield United and Bradford City, so this will be a good barometer to judge the progress against.

As the saying goes, one swallow doesn’t make a summer.

But it sure does put a smile on your face.

BARRY WORTHINGTON

What a difference a week can make in the world of football.

Or should that be what a difference an extra striker can make.

Home fans were baying for a second striker following the defensive home display in the 0-0 draw with Doncaster Rovers on Sunday.

Fast forward to Wednesday evening, and the addition of Craig Davies to the front line alongside Will Grigg revitalised the home team.

The Latics were fluid in attack.

The dangerous looking front two kept the Scunthorpe centre-backs occupied, while there was room behind them for the reduced midfield numbers to play some aesthetically pleasing football on the luscious green DW turf.

Hopefully these Jekyll and Hyde performances will serve as a quick learning curve to new manager Gary Caldwell.

With the Latics favourites for the division, we have to put a strong emphasis on attack for our home games.

And that starts by having two Championship-quality forwards as the first names on the team sheet.

As a notable side, for as good as it was to see the Latics dominate the game on Wednesday, it was equally satisfying to see so many hungry young players in the line up.

PAUL FARRINGTON

After Wednesday night’s impressive 3-0 victory against Scunthorpe, it feels as though Wigan Athletic’s season has had something of a kick-start.

It also feels as though we can make the DW Stadium something of a fortress again.

I think our home form could go a long way to us making the top six and possibly gaining promotion from League One.

In the majority of our home games, we will no doubt dominate the possession.

But as we witnessed in the Championship last term, some teams came here for a draw or anything else they could pinch.

I’d expect teams to do similar in this division.

To ensure we keep our home form strong, Latics’ gaffer Gary Caldwell has to stick with two up front.

The partnership of Will Grigg and Craig Davies was far too much for the Scunthorpe defence to handle, after they grabbed a goal each on Wednesday evening.

It looks as if they will be the preferred couple and could give almost any team in this league a headache.

We also have several other options.

Sanmi Odelusi and Billy McKay partnered each other in the pre-season game at Southport.

However, McKay is strongly linked with a return to Scotland, with Dundee United reportedly interested in taking the ex-Inverness Caledonian Thistle man back up north.

Alongside this, the forgotten man Grant Holt has admitted on Twitter he will be back in full training in the next four to six weeks after a serious knee injury.

With his wealth of experience and physical attributes, I’m sure he could do a job against some teams this campaign.

Tottenham Hotspur loanee Shaquile Coulthirst can also play through the middle.

What I’m trying to say is that we have a lot of competition in the striking department – better than most teams in this league.

We just have to use the right options in the most suitable games, with two centre-forwards on the pitch at the DW to give us the best chance of some quality home form.

KIERAN MAKIN

Gary Caldwell’s young team gave Scunthorpe a lesson in pass and move on Wednesday.

The Iron had no answer to Wigan’s style of play, which was reminiscent of the dominant performances produced in the Roberto Martinez days.

The opposition may not have been top-drawer, but Latics demonstrated how to outplay their opponents with some top-quality football.

The 3-0 scoreline did not flatter Latics, who could have won by considerably more.

Latics are still a work in progress, but they produced the kind of football that had the fans purring.

It has been evident in the opening games what they have been trying to achieve, but this was the first time that the team had fully clicked.

Latics’ newly-assembled team were nearly always quicker to the ball and slicker in their passing than their lacklustre opponents.

It was a great team performance, but there were also some outstanding individual performances from the diminutive duo David Perkins and Francisco Junior.

Comparisons to Barcelona’s Xavi and Iniesta may be stretching the point, but the duo displayed the type of interplay characterized by the famous Spanish duo.

Captain Craig Morgan marshalled the defence superbly, while Will Grigg and Craig Davies provided the cutting edge that had previously been missing.

The team’s unity was evident throughout as the players linked up well and won their individual battles all over the pitch.

Caldwell identified that Wigan’s game plan is now coming to fruition.

He has been working to establish a new style of play, and it is now starting to pay dividends.

However, it is still very early in the season, and the Latics manager, players and fans should not get carried away just yet.

There is still a lot of work to do and the next fixture is a difficult away game at second-placed Gillingham.

But if they can recreate this type of performance they will soon be challenging at the top of League One.

IAN ASPINALL

I think that’s what they term a successful week.

Following on from another disappointing result on Sunday afternoon the New Era finally kicked in to gear on Wednesday night and how.

Where in the past few games Latics looked laboured and without speed they looked pacey and direct against Scunthorpe.

There were some very good things about the first three games along with some not so good elements of our play. Against Bury in particular we looked dangerous and we should have come away with the win whilst Sunday’s game offered a strong defensive performance.

So it was good to see all of that come together on Wednesday night.

Let’s be under no illusions – Scunthorpe were a poor side.

They won’t be the strongest side we face this season but, as the old adage goes, you can only beat what’s in front of you.

A lot had been made before the match of a need for us to play 4-4-2 as Will Grigg had looked so isolated in his first few games.

And although I don’t think 4-4-2 is the magic formula to all football success that many do, it was pleasing to see Craig Davies finally get some game time.

The management are clearly taking it slowly with Davies.

His injury problems are well-documented so to see him get a goal along with game time under his belt was another pleasing aspect of Wednesday’s game.

Playing two forwards won’t always work, and sometimes our team selections and tactics will need to be adjusted depending on the opposition.

But on Wednesday it did work and it was pleasing to see both Grigg and Davies building up an understanding between each other and of course both players getting on the scoresheet.

It’s still very early days and, as ridiculous as the complaining over the manager, his staff and his players were after the defeats to Coventry and Bury, so are the claims that we’ll walk the league after winning one game.

Everything this season needs to be treated as a work in progres.

We have the makings of a very good side, and they need our patience both in the good times and the inevitable bad times we’ll experience this season.

Let’s hope the lads can build on Wednesday night with our first away win of the season at Gillingham.

SEAN LIVESEY