Five things we learned from Doncaster (h)
Paul Kendrick reflects on five talking points from Wigan Athletic's 1-0 victory over Doncaster at the DW...
1 Three-n-easy... After a difficult start to the campaign, Latics have now won three games in a row - and all of a sudden everything in the garden seems a little rosier. The EFL Trophy has come in for a lot of (deserved) stick over the years, not least for allowing Premier League sides to field Under-23 teams. But Latics' 6-1 victory over Liverpool last month provided a massive confidence boost and the platform to kickstart the league form...and long may it continue.
2 Nothing to fear at all... Latics have won the third tier title on each of their last three campaigns at this level. And early signs are that there is absolutely nothing to fear in this division - if Latics can settle into their stride and add the players John Sheridan feels he needs to bolster the squad. All four of Latics' opponents are in the top half of the fledgling table - as tough a start as could be imagined. As well as beating Portsmouth and Doncaster, Latics did enough to have got something from the Ipswich and Gillingham games too - even with all the off-field stuff going on. Now a buyer has been found, the fans are daring to dream again. Maybe this season doesn't have to be just about survival any more...
3 Joe still smokin'... What a start to the season for Joe Garner - five goals now in six matches, and leading from the front. Now armed with the captain's armband - "I don't think there's anyone left, is there?!" he joked after the game - he's quickly become the talisman Nick Powell and Will Grigg in previous years at this level. His experience is obviously of huge benefit with so many youngsters being fast-tracked into the fold, and his standing with the supporters continues to snowball by the week.
4 Kal of duty... Another day, another positional switch for Kal Naismith, Wigan's man for all seasons. On this occasion, the Scot was shifted back into the defence, to add a calming influence alongside debutant Darnell Johnson, and again he hardly put a foot wrong as Latics recorded their first clean sheet of the season. Having played in every single outfield position for Latics - and even in goal for previous club Portsmouth, after a team-mate was sent-off - there can't be a more versatile player in the country. Half a dozen players in one - the very epitome of a team man.
5 Keeping up with the Jones... Speaking of team men, goalkeeper Jamie Jones sums up that expression in equal measure. After showing his commitment to the cause in the off-season - by giving away his League One title winners' medal to help save the club - Jones is now making his presence felt on the field. Two fantastic saves in the first half helped Latics stay in the game - and go on to register a first clean sheet of the campaign. With so many new players around him, Jones' experience and leadership - he literally talks the backline through the 90 minutes - is invaluable to the Class of 2020/21.