12th Man: Are Wigan Wembley bound?

Yanic Wildschut

Yanic Wildschut on the Wembley trail. Photograph courtesy of Wigan Athletic

Latics progressed into the Northern semi-final of the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy with an emphatic 4-0 victory over Blackpool on Tuesday night. They are now only three games from another Wembley final and must be conscious that winning the Football League Trophy for a third time is a realistic target.

Wigan previously won the trophy when it was the Freight Rover Trophy in 1985 and the Auto Windscreen Shield in 1999 and they would surely love to make it three times.

The draw for the Northern semi-final takes place tomorrow morning on Sky TV and they will face either Barnsley or Fleetwood from League One or League Two side Morecambe.

If they get through the semi-final they will then face a two leg Northern final before they can reach Wembley.

The depth of Latics’ squad is certainly having a beneficial effect in the JPT and this will surely help them to be successful in their bid for promotion from League One.

Gary Caldwell was able to make ten changes from the team beaten at Bury in the FA Cup and they still ran out comfortable winners against Blackpool.

Wigan have one of the strongest squads in League One with many players who have played at a higher level, so if they can sort out their defensive frailties they have a realistic chance of promotion.

Latics will renew old rivalries with Rochdale at the weekend in a rare televised game. Rochdale spent most of their history in the bottom division and often teetered on the brink of oblivion, but they are now established in League One and are hoping to challenge for a play-off spot this season.

In Keith Hill they have a straight-talking manager who has done very well for the club. After playing for Rochdale, Hill managed the club to their first promotion in 2010 and then after a brief sojourn as Barnsley manager he returned to take charge at Spotland and helped get the club promotion to League One in the 2013/14 season.

Rochdale finished eighth in League One last season. They will be looking to end a sequence of four league draws and as Latics will be without internationals Will Grigg and Michael Love, they should not underestimate the Dale threat.

This article was first published in the 12th Man column for the Wigan Evening Post on Friday 13th November 2015.

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About ianhaspinall

Communications specialist, Wigan Athletic fan & blogger, interested in music, arts & culture.
This entry was posted in Blackpool, Johnstone's Paint Trophy, Keith Hill, League One, Rochdale, Wigan Athletic and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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