Wigan Athletic will bounce back from the disappointment of a second Championship relegation in the space of three seasons.
That’s the message from former favourite Ali Al Habsi, who thwarted his old club at the weekend, but is full of hope that this is not the end of the Latics success story.
You can see, not just in this game, but in a lot of games, they’re controlling games - but they’re missing that last chance to score goalsAli Al Habsi
“I’m really sad for them,” Al Habsi told the Wigan Post. “I had a fantastic five years with them.
“They worked really hard last year to come back, and they’ll be really disappointed.
“I’m really sad for them, but I can see them coming back next season.
“I think they can be strong and come back.
“They did it last year, and I’m sure they can again.
“They have some good players, experienced players.
“But sometimes not everything goes their way.”
Al Habsi kept a clean sheet in a game at the weekend in a game Latics had to win to have any chance of avoiding the drop.
The performance was nearer the top of their seasonal efforts rather than the bottom, but a frustrating lack of cutting edge in the final third once again cost them dear.
“You can see, not just in this game, but in a lot of games, they’re controlling games - but they’re missing that last chance to score goals,” acknowledged Al Habsi.
“They need to stick together now, and work really hard next season.
“League One is like the Championship - it’s a really tough league.”
Al Habsi was cheered during the game by the away end who really took to him during his spell at the DW - five years he has definitely not forgotten.
“The relationship between me and the fans I will never forget,” he added.
“I’ve really enjoyed every moment of my career - at Bolton, Wigan and now at Reading.
“I always try to give everything for the club and the fans, and it was great to have that reception from them.
“I believe in them and the football club that they can come straight back up.”