Wigan Athletic chief opens up on 'affiliation with people at the club'
Under normal circumstances, Wigan Athletic's first match under new ownership - and with the administrators having moved out - would be a massive cause for celebration.
However, with no fans inside the DW Stadium for the visit of Portsmouth, there'll be no immediate party atmosphere to give Latics a boost in the relegation run-in.
And for boss Leam Richardson, coming to terms with the full cost of the last nine months will take some time to process before being able to fully move on.
“You changed your mind every day with it," he said.
“It’s important to keep everyone’s spirit levels high, everybody focused, everybody’s professionalism and try to make the environment as happy as possible as it can consume a lot of people.
“If you let that filter in, it’s a tough one to shake off.
"But there were some days where professional people were asking if they’re going to be in work the next day?
“I’m very aware of the people who’ve lost their jobs.
"I’m in my fourth season here, so you get an affiliation with people at the club.
“People can look at administration quite blasé, we won’t be doing that from here on in.
"We’ve learned a lot about it, about the situation, about ourselves."
Richardson has already acknowledged staying up this year - against all the odds - would eclipse anything he has achieved in the game.
And three points against promotion-chasing Pompey could lift Latics out of the bottom four, keeping their fate in their own hands.
“Credit goes to everyone involved for the fact we’re still in a season and involved with eight games to go after all the turmoil," he added.
“It’s been challenging to say the least. People have done numerous jobs over the last nine months, pulling themselves from pillar to post.
“We’ve had more than 20 players leave and more than 18 members of staff, plus there was not knowing what’s around the corner.
“Now the staff and players that remain are desperate to represent our town and club well. We’ll do that right until the end."
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