Wigan Athletic: Five things we learned from Huddersfield Town (a)
Paul Kendrick reflects on five talking points from Wigan Athletic's 2-1 victory at Huddersfield Town in midweek...
1 A gr-eight start! Callum Lang's late winner at the John Smith's Stadium took Latics upto the dizzy heights of eighth place in the Championship table ahead of the Wednesday programme. Leam Richardson smiled when it was pointed out to him in the post-match press conference, acknowledging the season was only eight matches old. Newly-promoted teams tend to start well, boosted by the feel-good factor around the club, but the way Latics have adapted to life back in the Championship - with much the same squad as last term - has been hugely impressive. Thanks partly to…
2 Call of duty! No player appears to be relishing being in the Championship more than Callum Lang, who was at the heart of everything. The Academy product was brought down for the penalty that led to Will Keane's opener, before slotting home the winning goal. In between, he should have killed the game at 2-0, only to go too wide in rounding Lee Nicholls, as well as being brought down in the box for a second time. On that occasion, referee Jeremy Simpson opted to brandish a yellow card in Lang's direction, which was less than well received. And his 'Klinsmann' celebration at the end showed that perceived injustice was still on his mind.
3 Keeping up with the Joneses! Latics were also indebted to an unsung hero at the other end of field in Jamie Jones. The club captain wasa surprise starter, with Ben Amos suffering a back spasm in training, but he once again filled in with the minimum fuss and maximum effect. Three times in the second half he came to his side's rescue with important saves, as Huddersfield threatened to take control. And the scenes at the end in front of the away end show exactly what this club means to him on a personal level. A vital presence on and off the pitch.
4 Much ado about nothing! There was a depressing inevitability about James McClean being thrust into the spotlight for, well, being James McClean. He sported a black armband and stood in line with the rest of his colleagues for the minute's silence for Her Majesty The Queen. Nothing to see here. But guess whose picture adjoined more than one 'news' report of the showing of respect up and down the country? Predictably, he was singled out for treatment during the game from the Huddersfield fans. Needless to say, though, McClean - just like Alan Partridge - had the last laugh, setting up the winning goal and making sure everyone inside the stadium knew it. The perfect response.
5 The pies have it! The three points weren't the only memorable take-home from the trip to Huddersfield. Anyone who had a pie inside the stadium will have enjoyed a culinary treat on a Premier League scale. It certainly warranted a second inspection, which confirmed the minced steak offering was equally as good as the meat and potato. Fans in the away end also told tales of them being on offer for just £1 at full-time. If Latics are in the same division as Huddersfield next season, it may be worth taking along tupperware. Exactly what freezers were invented for.