Latics travel to another Latics, Oldham, tomorrow and a large away following will back them. Around 1,500 fans will make the trip to Boundary Park or the SportsDirect.com Park as it’s now known and they will be determined to make their voices heard.
Wigan’s average away attendance this season currently stands at 1,155, which is surprisingly higher than the final season in the Premier League and the average over the two Championship seasons.
But why has the travelling support gone up this season?
Cost is certainly a factor, as the ticket prices in League One are generally less than the Championship and Premier League.
£15 at Gillingham is much more affordable than the £56 charged at Chelsea. The distances travelled for the away games played so far, apart from Gillingham, have not been too onerous.
Some fans may feel that Latics have a better chance of winning this season now that they have dropped into League One. They are one of the favourites for promotion with the bookies and are regarded as a big fish in this division.
However, in some ways playing in League One is a return to Wigan’s roots in the Football League. Prior to 2003 Latics had spent 25 years in the third and fourth tier of English football.
For the old brigade, like myself, it is a re-connection with our past, but for some of the newer and younger fans it is an adventure and there are plenty of new teams and grounds to visit.
There is usually a good atmosphere at these smaller grounds that is not always present in the more sterile surroundings of the Premier League.
There is often a party feeling amongst the travelling fans and the camaraderie is often enhanced away from home, as these are some of the most dedicated of Latics supporters all brought together.
Fans’ singing is certainly a big part of the match day experience. But whatever the reasons for the increase in Latics travelling support, this can only be beneficial to the players and have a positive effect on the results.
This article was first published in the 12th Man column for the Wigan Evening Post on Friday 25th September 2015.