Wigan Athletic: Five things we learned from Blackburn Rovers (h)

Paul Kendrick reflects on five talking points from Wigan Athletic's 3-2 victory over Blackburn on Saturday...

Sunday, 9th January 2022, 2:02 pm
Tom Naylor competes for the ball against Blackburn

1 Keep on keeping on! Whatever the competition, this Latics side just keeps turning up and getting the job done. That's 14 matches unbeaten now - across three different competitions - with Leam Richardson doing a great job of juggling plates. The main stumbling block at the moment appears to be finding opponents willing to play them...

2 Statement of intent! With Latics in the midst of a fixture pile-up - which will only get worse before it gets better - it was telling that the manager once again elected to field virtually the strongest side at his disposal. The victory means the scheduled visit of Crewe on February 5 will have to be rearranged, but Richardson has respected the competition from round one against Solihull, and has been rewarded with a place in round four.

3 Championship test! While managers up and down the country will have rung the changes, Tony Mowbray also fielded a strong side at the DW, with star man Ben Brereton Diaz showing exactly why he has appeared on the radar of Premier League clubs with his form this term. The Latics rearguard, and goalkeeper Jamie Jones, did well to keep him largely under wraps, but for an hour the visitors looked every inch a side pushing for promotion to the Premier League. Unfortunately for Mowbray, one of the changes he did make - drafting in back-up stopper Aynsley Pears - backfired spectacularly. Neither will want to see any of the three goals again in a hurry.

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4 Tasty Lancashire hotpot! The fixture was a teasing glimpse of what will be in store next season if Latics go on to secure promotion from League One (assuming Rovers don't reach the Premier League!). There's nothing quite like a local derby to get the pulses racing, and the fans of both sides made for a cracking atmosphere. With Preston and Blackpool in the second tier, and Burnley possibly on their way down from the top flight, there could be a real north-west flavour to the Championship next term. Latics have just got to make sure they make the guest list...

5 Power-ful presence! Max Power once again took centre-stage at the weekend, with his goal just after the hour mark not only bringing Latics level, it completely changed the whole course of the game. After that, the home side - who'd played second fiddle for much of the opening hour - stepped up a gear and always looked the side more likely to win it. And two more assists from their midfield maestro helped to get them over the line. He appeared to enjoy the ensuing goal celebrations more than anyone else, too...

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