The doomsayers were out in force after Latics’ 1-1 draw at bottom club Crewe on Saturday night. The pessimists seem to think that the team had already blown their chances of promotion. However, I think they are very much in the race to go up automatically.
Latics are playing well and produced another good performance at Crewe; they were on top for most of the game and with a bit of luck would have secured all three points.
Some supporters assume that an away fixture at the bottom club is a guaranteed three points but in the football league the reality is often quite different.
Crewe defended well and counter attacked effectively and showed that they are a good football team who can take points off the best teams. They have previously managed draws away at Burton and Walsall and have beaten Sheffield United at home.
There are still many games ahead and there will be plenty of twists and turns and shock results before the end of the season.
If, as the cliché suggests, the English league calendar is more akin to a marathon than a sprint, then Latics’ season started slowly but is now gathering momentum towards the finish line.
Latics can achieve an automatic promotion place. They are unbeaten in seven games (currently the second best record in the Football League behind Nottingham Forest) and have moved up to fourth in the table.
They are only five points behind second placed Gillingham with 18 games still to play and a total of 54 points to play for.
Last season MK Dons were promoted in second place with 91 points and Latics are still capable of reaching that total.
The first team has been strengthened during the January transfer window with the exciting signings of Yanic Wildschut, Reece Wabara, Sam Morsi and Ryan Colclough.
Latics have a stronger squad after the transfer window than they did at the start, and with a few tweaks in the performances, an automatic promotion place is still a realistic target.
This article was first published in the 12th Man column for the Wigan Evening Post on Friday 29th January 2016.