The 12th Man: Latics fans have their say

Wigan Athletic players celebrate the midweek win at Peterborough
Wigan Athletic players celebrate the midweek win at Peterborough

LATICS fans give their verdict on back-to-back wins against Colchester and Peterborough, ahead of a testing trip to Bradford City:

What a brilliant week for the Latics.

A five-goal demolition of Colchester on Saturday, followed by a five-goal thriller at Peterborough on Tuesday.

Two games, six points, eight goals – you can’t ask for more than that.

Following a spate of draws it was back to winning ways, and I don’t think it’s any coincidence that Gary Caldwell has got his forward line back.

Will Grigg back in the starting XI following his international duties, and he grabs three goals.

Grant Holt and Craig Davies also returning to the fold is a big plus with their experience and strength – especially in the latter stages of games.

We now have real threat up front, and options too.

Man of the moment, though, must be Yanic Wildschut, who burst on to the scene in the Walsall game and gone from strength to strength. Big, powerful, lightning quick – he is so positive and direct, a real crowd pleaser.

David Sharpe just has to pull out all the stops to make this loan deal a permanent move.

Gaining the maximum haul from those games has thrown the Latics very much into the pool of clubs clamouring for the automatic promotion spots.

And this is a great time to be coming into good form.

The table is starting to settle down a little, and the push through until the festive period is important to sling-shot the Latics into the second half of the season as the team of League One.

There is a real positive vibe around the club at the moment. We are on a good run of form, and playing football the right way.

A team we can all be proud of that shows not only class, but also fight, determination and a real togetherness for each other and the club as a whole.

In his short time in charge, Caldwell has instilled a real spirit into the club. The players play for him, and for a big squad he appears to have the knack of being able to keep them happy and fighting for the cause. This is just the beginning, though, and it needs to be maintained.

Of course there will be setbacks, and the real test will be how we respond to those setbacks.

That will show just how good we can be.

It’s a big game on Saturday at Bradford, and there will be another large following of fans travelling across the M62.

Another positive result is needed to keep us on track, and hopefully we can pull it off and build on this great form and feel-good factor.

As Max Power would say: “Up the ‘tics!”


Two wins in a week displays the growing maturity of this Wigan Athletic side.

Those two wins now form part of an eight-match unbeaten spell in all competitions.

And although four of those have been draws, I think it’s safe to say that the Latics are finding their feet at this level.

Many of us have said the same over the last few months, that this side needed time to gel, time to get to know each other, and time to get used to the manager’s style of play.

And hopefully that’s now happening.

It was always going to take time, and we still have a long way to go.

But the determination showed in the two wins this week – firstly over Colchester and then Peterborough – will stand us in good stead over the next few months.

Both wins were totally different but showed important parts of our play.

In both games we showed the increasingly clinical nature of our attacking play, which looks a world away from the early games of the season where we struggled to make an impression on the opposition’s goal.

Whereas the Colchester game was comfortable, Peterborough was anything but.

Once again we showed our defensive frailties in conceding the two goals.

But as per usual there’s no giving up with this Latics side, and the immediate response from Craig Davies and Max Power paid dividends.

It was pleasing to see Power get on the scoresheet again.

He had been unfairly criticised in some quarters earlier this month and, considering he’s only 22, it looks like he’s now fulfilling his potential with us.

It was also good to see Davies return and, with Grant Holt impressing in his four recent cameo appearances, we’ve now arguably the strongest forward line in the division.

Davies, Holt, Will Grigg, Jordy Hiwula, Yanic Wildschut, not to mention Haris Vuckic and Tottenham loanee Shaq Coulthirst still to return from injury.

All in all it points to a positive last few weeks for Gary Caldwell’s side.

And if we can keep that up with a result at Bradford, we’ll be well on our way.


Once Tuesday’s game with Peterborough went to 2-2 late in the second half, we would have gone on to lose 3-2 in recent years.

But this season, with this team, that isn’t the case.

We are only 14 games into the new season, but we’ve already seen on a number of occasions the fight and determination that this squad possesses, with fightbacks becoming a regular occurrence away from home.

And it was no different at London Road this week, with Latics throwing a two-goal lead away despite looking in control for most of the game.

I was stood in the away end thinking a third Peterborough goal was on its way. But Max Power quickly restored the lead, handing us a massive three points, and made it eight games unbeaten in all competitions.

It makes a nice change to see a Wigan side with those qualities, and look like they want to play for this club, as it was that fight that was missing for the majority of last season that saw us get relegated quite easily.

I’ve said all through the summer, and most of this season, that I’d take a season of consolidation in League One and then have a real go at promotion the year after.

But I’m now thinking that would be an average season for the squad we have.

Testament must go to Gary Caldwell, Jonathan Jackson and David Sharpe for their transfer dealings in the summer, as I do believe we have a squad capable of chasing the title.

We currently sit in seventh in the league, seven points off the top of the table, and you could argue we have only really put great performances together in the last couple of weeks.

That bodes well for us for Bradford on Saturday, as well as the rest of the season.

A quick end note must go to Yanic Wildschut, who has been a revelation since his arrival from Middlesbrough.

I’ve never seen someone, especially at this level, who can just glide past players so easily with the ball at his feet.

And I hope we’re doing everything we can to keep him for as long as we can.


It was another incredible away day on Tuesday night as Latics edged out Peterborough 3-2 in a dramatic finale at the ABAX Stadium.

Wigan had let a two-goal lead slip and were in danger of losing when Max Power cut through the Posh defence and produced a sublime finish to secure all three points.

Recent away days at Chesterfield, Port Vale, Oldham, Crewe, Bury and Peterborough have all produced great entertainment for the travelling Latics supporters. These away games have been characterised by great attacking play and, at the same time, poor defending.

As a former defender, his team’s defending will frustrate Gary Caldwell.

But it certainly ups the excitement quotient.

Latics fans have gone through the whole range of emotions during these games, with some desperate lows and some amazing highs. But you certainly get great value for money watching the side on the road.

Next up is another away day at Bradford City, and don’t forget to hold onto your seats – it could be another roller-coaster ride.


Four days, two wins, eight goals scored and two conceded. Safe to say the penny has dropped with our talented new-look Latics team.

We are making the improvements we needed to make if we were to be serious contenders for promotion. We are now taking our chances when we are on top.

Teams will now fear playing against us, simply because of how good we are on the ball and how many goals we are capable of scoring in possession.

This is largely down to the fact we now have our main goalscoring threat, Will Grigg, back on a consistent basis, after his time on international duty with Northern Ireland.

However, one player who has been the spearhead of our current form is our very own magic man, Yanic Wildschut. The Middlesbrough loanee has been exceptional – so powerful and skilful – and I have no doubt he should be playing in a division higher than League One.

But he is currently a Latics player, and we have to take advantage of him while he is at the club.

His current deal is only for three months, but I’m crossing my fingers we can at least take him for the season and, dare I say it, permanently beyond that.

Since I’ve been a Latics fan, we have always had a dangerous player through whom our attacks can be channelled - Charles N’Zogbia, Victor Moses and Callum McManaman just to name a few.

I believe that Wildschut is the closest thing we’ve had to that calibre of player for a while.