Wigan Athletic ‘wanted to finish first’ - Sharpe

David Sharpe with the League One title
David Sharpe with the League One title

David Sharpe admitted securing the League One title has made an already-great season for Wigan Athletic absolutely perfect.

The 1-0 victory at Doncaster on Saturday saw Latics clinch top spot, with an incredible haul of 98 points.

Second-placed Blackburn - starting the day two points behind and with a vastly-inferior goal difference - had an outside chance of overhauling Latics.

But not even a 2-1 victory over struggling Oxford was good enough to take the title to Ewood.

And while Rovers were being presented with their trophy at Ewood Park for finishing runners-up, the pot that matters was being paraded in front of over 4,000 joyous Wiganers at the Keepmoat Stadium.

“Promotion was obviously the target, but we always wanted to finish first,” Sharpe told the Wigan Post.

“I think that became harder when we were having our cup run, and we were beating teams such as Manchester City.

“We were playing catch-up, we were three and four games behind at one point, and the other sides were full steam ahead.

“Now we can celebrate with a trophy - and I don’t believe in getting a trophy for second place.

“But I’m sure Blackburn will enjoy it, and they deserve to go up.

“Being champions is what counts, and we’ll have a great weekend.”

The scenes on the pitch at the final whistle - and following Will Grigg’s winning goal on 75 minutes - underlined what a huge team effort it’s been.

All of which started almost 12 months ago when Sharpe persuaded Cook to move north from Portsmouth, with whom he’d just won the League Two title on the final day of last term.

“It’s all down to Paul Cook and the players, and what they’ve put in place,” added Sharpe.

“Every member of staff - the management and the players - have been incredible.

“It was always going to be a good squad of players for League One.

“They just needed guiding, and Paul’s done a hell of a job in doing that.

“To finish on 98 points - which is 11 points better than when we won the title two years ago - is amazing.

“We’ve broken records left right and centre...from clean sheets, to goals scored, to away wins.

“It’s important we enjoy the moment - and we will do that.”