12th Man: Still early days for our work in progress

Jason Pearce

Jason Pearce may return from injury

It’s been an inauspicious start to the season for Latics with defeats at Coventry City in the league and at home to Bury in the League Cup. The performance at the Ricoh Arena was disappointing but they were a little unlucky to lose to a late Leon Clarke penalty against the Shakers.

But it is still very early days for what is an almost completely new team and it will inevitably take some time for the players to become a cohesive and effective unit.

Some of the other promotion favourites such as Sheffield United and Bradford City have also struggled in their opening league games and they have not had to go through the same amount of upheaval as Latics.

The level of change at Wigan has been truly exceptional. 15 new players have joined the club in the close season and very few remain at the club from last season.

It is unlikely that any other League 1 clubs can have gone through such a massive turnover in players in such a short space of time.

Gary Caldwell admitted to reporters this week “I knew it wouldn’t happen overnight, there are a lot of new faces and a lot of people still getting to grips with a new club.”

He went on to say “It will happen – I think you can see signs of improvement and we’ll keep working hard on the training pitch to make sure it does.”

The manager must meld together a disparate group and educate them about the style of football he wants to play. It will not be an overnight process and the fans will need to be patient during the changeover period.

Let’s not forget that Caldwell is learning the ropes in his first role as a manager. He will inevitably make some mistakes, but hopefully he can learn from them and the club can profit from his development in the long run.

He is still on the look out for new players and he will also hope to be boosted by the return of some of his injured players Jason Pearce, Emyr Huws and Tim Chow.

Latics have two home games in quick succession against Doncaster Rovers and Scunthorpe United. A first three points of the season would certainly aid the team’s development and give the players, manager and fans a much needed boost in confidence.

This article was first published in the 12th Man column for the Wigan Evening Post on 14 August 2015.

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About ianhaspinall

Communications specialist, Wigan Athletic fan & blogger, interested in music, arts & culture.
This entry was posted in Gary Caldwell, League One, Wigan Athletic and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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