Five things we learned from Crewe (h)

Paul Kendrick reflects on five talking points from Wigan Athletic's 2-0 victory against Crewe on Saturday...

Sunday, 18th April 2021, 1:51 pm
Updated Sunday, 18th April 2021, 1:54 pm
Lee Evans and Funso Ojo dominate the midfield against Crewe

1 Three-for-all! Latics made it three league wins in a row for the first time since...the very night before administration last summer. Yes they picked up a hat-trick of victories at the beginning of this term, but one of those was in the Papa John's Trophy. But the way Leam Richardson has got his men playing at the moment, it was a pizza cake to continue the win streak. Yes, there was a huge stroke of luck attached to the opening goal from Joe Dodoo. But how many times have Latics found themselves on the wrong end of the breaks this term...both on and off the field? It's about time Lady Luck got out her blue and white ribbon.

2 Evans above! Watching Lee Evans strut his stuff in the centre of midfield was a magnificent sight. And a reminder he - like Latics - should never have ended up in League One. The Wales international was spraying the ball around like Scholes at his peak, and rounded off the win with his second goal of the campaign from the penalty spot. And one look at the stats shows what a big player he has been for Latics - when fit. With Evans, Latics have picked up 24 points from their 18 matches. Which, if that were continued over 42 matches (the current state of play) would have them in 14th spot on 56 points - only nine off the play-offs. Without Evans, it's a different story. The 20 points accrued from 24 matches would be good enough for a total haul of 35 points - which is two fewer than bottom-of-the-table Swindon currently have. The best midfielder in League One? Well he only appears to have one serious competitor...

3 House of Fun-so! While highlighting the impact of Evans, it would be remiss not to also give a massive pat on the back to Funso Ojo, the January loan arrival from Aberdeen. Quite how the Dons didn't appreciate what they had is anyone's guess. But their loss has well and truly been Wigan's gain. The Belgian has upped his game week by week - as his match fitness has improved - and he now fills the same pivotal role in the team Sam Morsy used to. The perfect foil for Evans, Ojo's signature ona long-term contract will be one of the first jobs for Phoenix 2021 Limited this summer....with hopefully the lure of League One football to offer him.

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4 Joseph's goal! In a season of non-stop surprises and shocks, it was so nice to have a massive one of the welcome kind when the team sheet came out at 2pm and Kyle Joseph's name was on it. Having been all-but ruled out for the campaign with a back problem, the teenager has clearly been working his socks off behind the scenes to try to get himself back into the frame to help Latics over the line. And after helping Latics get through a real winter of discontent, here's hoping Kyle can get back in the groove and play his part in the run-in to ensure a summer of sunshine and smiles.

5 Man down! As the relegation dogfight intensifies, there was a big casualty on Saturday night with news of John Sheridan's departure from rock-bottom Swindon. It's fair to say there were few tears shed when the straight-talking Mancunian left Latics in November after only two months at the helm, with a number of fans left aghast at his no-nonsense comments regarding a largely youthful squad doing their best in the most trying of circumstances. Fast forward five months, and it seems Swindon supporters are equally happy to see the back of him - with their side seven points adrift of safety. It would take a monumental effort for Swindon to avoid the drop, but Latics fans would rather they didn't look to final-day specialist Paul Jewell - the club's current director of football. Especially not with Swindon visiting the DW on the last day of this term...

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