Wigan Athletic: Five things we learned from Cardiff City (a)

Kal Naismith almost finds a winning goalKal Naismith almost finds a winning goal
Kal Naismith almost finds a winning goal
Paul Kendrick reflects on five talking points from Wigan Athletic's 2-2 draw at Cardiff City...

1 Just keep going! A staple comment from Paul Cook's press conferences, and perfect to sum up Latics at the moment. After win, lose or draw it's just straight on to the next one, don't get too high or too low, and just trust in the process to get it right by the end of the season. Despite remaining in the bottom three, Latics are near the middle of the form table. Which if that were to continue, would see them rise to safety before May.

2 Cometh the hour! All eyes were on Kieffer Moore at the Cardiff City Stadium - and boy did the big man produce when it mattered. There was always going to be added spice, with Cardiff having had two bids rejected for him last month, in the capital city of the country whose line he is hoping to lead at this summer's Euros. Not only did he put in his usual tireless shift, he also showed deft footwork to flick home the first goal on four minutes, before holding his nerve to convert a spot-kick on the stroke of half-time.

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3 King Leon! It was a first start in Latics colours for Leon Balogun, who joined on deadline day from Brighton. In the absence of the suspended Chey Dunkley and the injured Danny Fox, Balogun slotted in with the minimum of fuss alongside Cedric Kipre. Given his lack of games of late, there was little evidence of ring rust - and hugely encouraging signs for the rest of the campaign. Dunkley's red card at Luton led to weeks on the sidelines as Kal Naismith stepped in and did no wrong. He'll be hoping his dismissal against Middlesbrough doesn't lead to the same length of inactivity.

4 Is the luck turning? As Cardiff boss Neil Harris pointed out after the game, Latics were undoubtedly on the receiving end against Middlesbrough last midweek, but there was no question they came out the right end of all John Brook's big calls. On another day, Lee Evans could have been red-carded in the first minute, Latics were awarded a penalty for handball before escaping a similar call at the other end. And the stoppage-time call to disallow a scrambled winner, for a supposed foul on David Marshall, was generous to say the least. Paul Cook will feel that rub of the green has been long overdue, and for once the late drama went with his side. Fingers crossed that continues.

5 Don't look down! It was a mixed bag of results in the bottom third of the Championship. The two sides below Latics - Barnsley and Luton - both pulled off impressive away wins, although none of the four teams directly above won - Stoke, Charlton and Middlesbrough - all lost, and Huddersfield drew. But on the whole, it was a positive day for Paul Cook's men. Luton beating Boro may mean Latics are only three points off the bottom, but it also means seventh-bottom Boro are only six points ahead. The more teams involved in the shake-up, the better. Especially those who - unlike Latics - haven't experienced the pressure of a relegation dogfight.