Latics are now entering a critical period of games, which could determine which division they are in next season.
After a sequence of four defeats they need to start picking up points quickly or they will become detached from the teams above them.
Latics have the proverbial ‘six-pointer’ against bottom club Rotherham United on Boxing Day and another defeat could prove catastrophic, particularly as this is followed by difficult fixtures against high flyers Derby County and Huddersfield Town.
Latics’ situation hasn’t been helped by the current injury crisis. Nearly half the squad has been affected at some point during the season, with recent injuries to Reece Burke, Craig Morgan, Luke Garbutt, Shaun MacDonald and David Perkins.
Add to these the long term injured Adam Bogdan, Reece James, Donervon Daniels and Alex Gilbey and the word ‘crisis’ does not really do it justice.
Manager Warren Joyce has worked the players very hard in training since taking over in November and this may be contributing to the high number of injuries the club is experiencing.
The change in playing style may also have contributed to the injury list, but whatever the reasons the new manager’s choices will need to be very effective in the upcoming transfer window if Latics are to escape the drop.
Adam Bogdan’s long-term injury means that Joyce is in need of a back up goalkeeper for first choice Jussi Jaaskelainen.
Jussi has been in excellent form since taking over from Bogdan but with reserve Dan Lavercombe untried at Championship level the manager will be looking to bring in another experienced keeper as cover.
The right back position is also a priority, as a succession of injuries has prevented Latics from having a settled defence.
Reece Burke did very well during his time in the team but a reoccurring hip injury has meant he has now returned to West Ham United.
Unless Alex Gilbey returns sooner than expected or Nick Powell magically regains his form, Latics will need to add more creativity in midfield.
Jordi Gomez played some great passes in the second half against Ipswich but Latics have been lacking the creative touch to unlock Championship defences.
Going forward Latics do have options but they should use the transfer window to add another striker.
Craig Davies is ineffective at this level although Yanic Wildschut has been Latics’ best player and Will Grigg is very capable of going on a goalscoring run if he is given the right kind of service.
Despite the need for reinforcements, Chief Executive Jonathan Jackson has recently commented on the club’s financial position.
“The club will always aim to compete at the highest level possible but we must also be realistic in our ambitions and ultimately financial sustainability must continue to remain a priority”.
If Latics are to escape the bottom three, owner Dave Whelan and Chairman David Sharpe will need to back the manager they recently appointed with transfer funds. However, given the announcement of the club’s financial results for 2015/16, don’t expect a spending spree.