Tendayi Darikwa on taking all-new Wigan Athletic back to Gillingham
Tendayi Darikwa is looking forward to taking a rather different Wigan Athletic back to Gillingham this weekend.
It’s exactly six months since Latics last visited Priestfield, when a 1-0 loss left them requiring snookers to avoid the drop into League Two.
Thankfully a late-season rally – on the back of the takeover – saw survival achieved, and Latics return south hoping for a win that could take them back top of League One.
“The club was going through some very difficult times last year,” acknowledged Darikwa.
“I was obviously one of the more senior lads, and I just tried to pass on as much of my experience as possible.
“The group was young, the numbers were down to the bare bones, but to survive in those circumstances showed the character we had – on and off the pitch.
“It was the first time I’d experienced a club in administration - and hopefully it’s the last.
“As achievements go, I’d have to say it’s right up there.”
The difference from the dark days of last term is, as Darikwa recognises, like night and day.
“As soon as the new owners took over, it was obviously a massive relief – for me and for everybody else,” said the newly-installed Latics skipper.
“It was a huge line in the sand for the club and also the town, and something to build on.
“You’ve seen since the players we’ve signed, and the squad we have now, we’re more than capable of competing at the right end of the table.
“It’s just night and day from last season – a much better place to come into every morning.
“It’s amazing how quickly everything’s gelled this season, and we feel there’s still so much to come.
“Off the pitch, you can see everyone’s a lot more settled, and the club’s certainly moving in the right direction.
“It’s going to be another tough game this weekend.
“They showed last season how much they can compete in this division. But we feel we’re more than capable of coming away with a result.”
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