Wigan Athletic: Review of the Year with Max Power

Max Power reflects on another eventful 12 months in the history of Wigan Athletic...
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Looking back to January-time, we were obviously in a good position in League One, but there's always a lot of football still to be played.

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In any campaign, every single month is important, but once you hit the turn of the year and get past halfway, you get that little bit closer after each game.

Max Power looks back on another eventful 12 months at Wigan AthleticMax Power looks back on another eventful 12 months at Wigan Athletic
Max Power looks back on another eventful 12 months at Wigan Athletic
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To be fair, I always thought we'd get there, with the experience in the group and also the quality.

We did have a tricky run at the end of the season, against a few teams that had nothing to play for, but all decided to turn up against Wigan!

You sometimes look at it and wonder if they'd applied themselves like that all season, they might have been in a much stronger position…

But I get it, you're playing the top of the league, you want to impress their manager as well as your own - maybe end up on their journey the following season!

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We got there in the end though and ultimately, whatever way you do it, the best team in the league always finishes top, and that was us.

The league table doesn't lie, over the course of 46 games, and we deserved to finish top of the pile.

I'm fortunate enough that it was my third league title, and it's always nice to get promoted.

I'd had three years of constantly hitting the post and the bar at Sunderland, where we couldn't quite manage to get over the line.

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To come back here to Wigan, and to do it for a third time, was obviously special.

Each time is special in its own right, but I think you probably do appreciate it a little bit more as you get older.

I still feel like I've got years left in me, but you never know when the next one will come along, and they're all incredibly special in their own way.

I was only 23 when the first one happened and I thought that was the norm, winning titles.

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When it doesn't happen for a few years, you do miss it, but we certainly enjoyed it as a group after Shrewsbury.

That obviously meant the trip to Las Vegas, which has become a bit of a Wigan tradition now!

And it's always nice to go away with a group of lads you've spent the best part of a year with day in, day out.

I'm a big believer in there being a time to work, and you won't find anyone more professional when it comes to that.

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But you've also got to find that balance in life, and it's important to enjoy the rewards of all your hard work.

It is tough, it's not easy winning a division, and there's a lot of sacrifice that comes with that.

We had a target on our backs right from the off, with the recruitment we'd made, and I don't don't think enough was made of the achievement in doing it at the first time of asking.

To put together a squad literally from scratch and win a league is testament obviously to the recruitment team, but also the manager and his staff.

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Everyone here will always have so much time and respect for Leam Richardson, the role he's played here not just in the last year but during his five years here.

Unfortunately football moves quickly and changes quickly, as we all know, and as one door closes, another one opens.

I felt like we carried over a lot of our momentum from last season into this season, and had a really good start

Obviously we then hit a bit of a lean period, where maybe a few injuries kicked in, as well as a step up in opposition.

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The disappointing thing from our point of view is some of the goals we've conceded.

Someone worked out we'd be 14 points better off without goals conceded from set-pieces.

That's very unlike us, what we've been as a side since we've been together.

But obviously if you add those 14 points on, you'd be pushing the top two, never mind being in the top six.

I think that shows the fine margins are at this level.

One thing this team will always give is 100 per cent.

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All right, sometimes we might come up short, but it certainly won't be for the lack of trying.

At the midway point of the season, we're not in a bad place, and there's still plenty of football still to play

Kolo Toure's come in, and he's brought in a massive wave of enthusiasm and energy.

He's coached for five years or so, studying the game, and he's ready to take on the role of manager.

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His playing career speaks for itself, but that doesn't always mean you'll be just as successful in management.

He's worked under Brendan Rodgers, a well-respected manager at the top level, and this is his big chance now.

The players are all on board with what he wants to do, the training has been good, we had a positive start at Millwall and there are a lot of positive signs in terms of the football he wants to play.

Fingers crossed it's a very positive second half of the season for all of us.

Finally, thanks to all the Wigan fans for their support throughout the year, and I hope everyone has a very Happy New Year.

Max Power was speaking to Paul Kendrick