Wigan Athletic: Five talking points from Norwich City (a)
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1 Top draw stuff! Latics may not have come home from Norfolk with all three points, but the team coach will have been full of optimism and buoyancy on the long trek back up north. On the back of last week's stalemate against Preston, Latics have now gone toe to toe with two sides who would expect to be at least in the play-off picture, and come away with a share of the spoils. As with their previous game, they had to dig in at times but, on the balance of play, a point was the least they deserved. Plenty of cause for optimism. Having said that…
2 Reinforcements still needed!...it would be wrong to read too much into Latics' encouraging start to the campaign. As Sky Sports pundit - and ex-Latics man - Michael Brown said after the game, Latics can't assume that, given the promising start, the squad is strong enough to compete at this level over a 46-game campaign. Massive pats on the back for the first two games. But Latics remain four or five bodies down even on last season's squad and, as Leam Richardson and Mal Brannigan have acknowledged, reinforcements are required as a matter of priority before the deadline.
3 Mac attack! Latics' first goal of the campaign was scored by James McClean, the man with most Championship experience in the squad. Up to that point, chances had been sparse, with Callum Lang squandering a similar opportunity in Latics' solitary attack, after being played in by Will Keane. But when Keane won the ball cheaply and slid the ball sideways to McClean, the Irishman was cool, calm and collected as he took delivery of the ball and slipped the ball past the advancing Tim Krul. Latics will heavily rely on McClean's know-how back in the second tier, and the early signs are that he has unfinished business at this level. Meanwhile, at the other end…
4 Defensive rocks! It was a first Championship start together for Jason Kerr and Curtis Tilt. And despite being up against Teemu Pukki - one of the deadliest Championship strikers of recent years - they stood up to be counted as Latics held out against a side that was two divisions above them last year. The biggest compliment you could pay the duo is Jack Whatmough - last season's player of the year - wasn't missed. And the way Tilt wins free-kicks by waiting for contact from opposition strikers, before falling to the ground in installments, surely requires the act to be named after him. Master of his craft.
5 Fan-fare! Latics' fanbase may be the subject of mockery from the kind of social media account you know is based in the bedroom of a sad teenager who's desperate for #numbers, but fair play to each and every one of the traveling army who made the trip. It's a daunting trip at the best of times, but the 12.30pm kick-off meant there wasn't much point going to bed on Friday night. Even so, and despite the live Sky coverage, close to 1,000 made their presence felt in the away end. And were rewarded by a fantastic effort on the field.