Five things we learned from Portsmouth (a)

Paul Kendrick reflects on five talking points from Wigan Athletic's 2-1 victory at Portsmouth...
Latics celebrate Lee Evans' opening goalLatics celebrate Lee Evans' opening goal
Latics celebrate Lee Evans' opening goal

1 What a feeling! Some 74 days have passed since Latics last tasted victory in the league - their record-breaking 8-0 demolition of Hull City at the DW on July 14. So much has happened since then, of course, but the winning feeling has never felt so overdue. After so many kicks to the gut over the last few months, this one was long overdue...and very well deserved...

2 And how! Despite Portsmouth boasting the best home record in League One last season - and defending an unbeaten sequence at Fratton Park stretching back 17 months - Latics were absolutely good value for their three points. They settled into the game quickly, took the lead during a spell of dominance, and then scored one of the goals of the season on the hour mark to close the door on any Pompey hopes of a comeback. The home goal with seconds left was barely even consolation.

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3 If you're good enough... Goalscorers Lee Evans and Tom James were impressive, but how about Academy graduates Chris Merrie and Alex Perry? The latter has pretty much established himself as first-choice in the engine room - despite not having featured at all until a fortnight ago. The former, meanwhile, has not only shown he can mix it in the midfield in League One, but he played three-quarters of the game out of position at left-back - after Tom Pearce went off - and walked off with the man-of-the-match award. Great to see - and another pat on the back for Gregor Rioch and his Academy staff.

4 Fantastic Mr Fox! Most of the talk in recent weeks has been departures, but one of the most significant moves could be the re-signing of centre-back Danny Fox. Not only is the 34-year-old a class act at this level, but his experience and stature - on and off the field - will be invaluable this season. Be it the new arrivals in the backline or the Academy starlets coming through, Fox will provide the calming influence that will provide the continuity moving forwards - if he can steer clear of injury.

5 Looking up not down! Without getting ahead of ourselves, Latics have now proved this thrown-together group can compete at this level. Okay, three points from three games won't raise too many ripples up and down the country. But with two of the hardest - and longest - away trips out of the way, it's already become apparent there's nothing to fear at this level. With a bit more continuity, and hopefully one or two additions down the line - not to mention the possibility of new owners at some point - who knows...we can but hope. But of course, it's the hope that kills you...