When Uwe Rosler arrived at Wigan Athletic he promised it wouldn’t be dull under his leadership and he’s been true to his word so far. As I write this it’s been seven days since Uwe took charge of his first game and the changes we’ve seen in that time have been un-mistakable.
First of all let’s take a look at the trip to Slovenia; everyone present in Maribor knows that isn’t a game Latics deserved to lose. At the very least they were worthy a point but as the manager pointed out if the game had stayed eleven versus eleven as it should have Latics would have been victorious and through to the knockout stages of the competition.
But let’s be honest it wasn’t the Maribor game where the damage had been done, that damage was done in the home game against Zulte Waregem. But there’s no point crying over spilt milk and as difficult as it was to be knocked out on Thursday night it could well be a blessing in disguise for Uwe as he can concentrate solely on our Championship campaign.
As first home games go there aren’t many more difficult than a local derby at home to your closest rivals. To get a win and one where Latics dominated so much in the opening exchanges makes it that much better. The style of play in the game against Maribor was again evident at home to Bolton, all that’s lacking at the minute is fitness and as we’ve seen in recent weeks that lack of fitness can have serious consequences in the second half of games
In recent weeks a succession of people have come out to voice their surprise at our lack of fitness, it was something that hampered Owen Coyle’s time at Bolton and seemingly again his time with Wigan. It couldn’t have been easy balancing the amount of games with training and keeping the squad fit but to see players like Callum McManaman and Grant Holt so unfit was concerning. It’s good to see that. That will be something that Uwe and his backroom staff will have identified those issues and are looking to rectify it as soon as possible.
It could well have been two wins in a row for Uwe and if we’re being totally honest Latics were well in control at Hillsborough on Wednesday night. The first half was as impressive a performance I’ve seen this season and that includes the 4-0 demolition of Barnsley. James McClean and Nick Powell were in fantastic form whilst the midfield three of Ben Watson, James McArthur and Jordi Gomez revelled in the new style of play they’ve been asked to play.
As the rain continued to pour at Hillsborough I wondered how much longer the referee would allow play to continue and I think all of the stadium knew that the game couldn’t continue once Nick Powell’s one on one rolled wide due to the amount of water on the pitch.
It will be doubly disappointing for the management that the side had put so much effort in to a game which ultimately left us with nothing. The hope has to be that the side can recover in enough time to go again against Reading on Saturday.
As the games come thick and fast over the Festive period we need to make the most of this run of games and get points on the board, although we left Yorkshire without any points the performance has once again convinced me that Uwe Rosler is the right man to leader us forward.
Let’s hope we can do the same in the coming weeks.
Originally published in the Wigan Evening Post – Friday 20 – December