From the sublime to the not so sublime is a good way to sum up the last week in the life of Wigan Athletic. The performance against Reading on Good Friday put to bed any worries about a post Wembley hangover and really enforced our credentials as play-off candidates.
Uwe Rosler described it as the perfect performance and he wasn’t far wrong, it was as good as the performance against Arsenal but in a different way rather than the containment job that was required to take Arsenal to penalties the week before.
The attacking verve of the side was sublime and it really could have been 5 or 6 rather than the 3 goal haul we got. Expectations were high of us spoiling Burnley’s promotion party and it wasn’t to be. A lot was made of the changes that Uwe made for the Burnley game and of course it’s a valid argument. Why change a winning team that had won so comprehensively a couple of days before against Reading? It was probably down to that game against Reading being only a couple of days ago that those changes were made.
After a season that has so far taken in 57 games in all competitions and a number of serious injuries to key players I can completely understand Uwe’s want to change things around. Less down to fatigue but more to protect key players from injuries, some of the outstanding performers on Friday were either playing their first games after injury or were still coming back after long injury lay-offs.
Players like Shaun Maloney, Roger Espinoza and even Callum McManaman aren’t fit but could be so key to the rest of our season. To have any of those players injured now would be a massive blow.
I think Uwe knows the play-offs are within grasp and it’s a case of protecting what we have and if that means resting certain players for a couple of games so be it. The manager has made his rotation policy clear before and it’s never going to be the most popular policy. But if you had said to any of us in December we would finish the season with an FA Cup semi-final appearance and a place in the play-offs in our grasp we all would have taken that.
It’s time for us to get ready for Blackpool, a team fighting for their lives who will make it difficult on Saturday but a win and a place in the play-offs is within our grasp. Get those three points and Uwe can change and rotate the side as much as he pleases. We’ve four weeks left and they could be the biggest four weeks of the season, let’s get behind the lads.