12th Man: Still on tenterhooks

Gary Caldwell, Wigan Athletic

Wigan manager Gary Caldwell

Wigan’s survival hopes are hanging by a thread as we await news of Rotherham United’s punishment from the Football League for fielding an ineligible player.

The outcome of the disciplinary panel is likely to decide whether Latics have a realistic chance of survival in the Championship.

A three points deduction for Rotherham could make all the difference to the last two games of the season.

A Wigan win at home to Wolves on Saturday could then take it to the last game of the season at Brentford, when another victory might be enough to pull off a miraculous escape from relegation.

Wigan and Millwall have two games left, while the Millers have three – home fixtures against Norwich City and Reading respectively on Saturday and next Tuesday and then the final-day clash at Leeds on May 2nd.

The Football League said a football disciplinary commission would hear the case at the “earliest possible opportunity” and before the end of the season.

Surely the fairest way forward would be to make a decision on the points deduction before Saturday’s fixtures so that everyone knows what they have to play for.

If Rotherham are given a three-point deduction, they would still have a two-point advantage over Wigan and one point over Millwall, but the pressure on them would be massively increased.

Even if the points deduction does come into effect, Wolves will present stern opposition, as they will be striving to make it into the play-offs. They are currently three points behind sixth placed Ipswich with six points still to play for.

Wolves manager Kenny Jackett has done an excellent job in getting a newly promoted team challenging for promotion.

They have a potent strike force with Benik Afobe, Bakary Sako and former Latic Nouha Dicko having scored 40 League goals between them. Which happens to be more than Wigan have scored in total this season.

It could be a nervy encounter with both teams desperate to get the three points that will prolong their season. It would be a significant achievement for Wigan under new manager Gary Caldwell to record back-to-back wins at this crucial time.

Latics should never have been in such a perilous position at this stage in the season, but due to some bad management appointments, the club now finds itself on the verge of the third tier of English football.

But whatever happens this weekend the fans must continue to keep the faith and believe that the future will be brighter under Gary Caldwell.

This article was first published in the 12th Man column for the Wigan Evening Post on 24th April 2015

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About ianhaspinall

Communications specialist, Wigan Athletic fan & blogger, interested in music, arts & culture.
This entry was posted in Brentford, Championship, Gary Caldwell, Millwall, Rotherham United, Wigan Athletic, Wolves and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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