12th Man – It is getting serious now


Burton Albion’s Pirelli Stadium

Latics reaped the reward of a first home victory in seven games against Nottingham Forest with a high profile fourth round draw at FA Cup holders Manchester United.

Former United reserve team manager Warren Joyce will be relishing the prospect of pitting his wits against Jose Mourinho and Latics’ players will be looking forward to competing against some of the top players in the country in front of 70,000 supporters at Old Trafford.

The club will certainly benefit financially from the trip, but Latics have a proud recent history in the FA Cup, winners in 2013 and semi-finalists in 2014, so don’t rule out the possibility of another shock result.

Before that game however, Latics have some huge games in the Championship and tomorrow they come up against Burton Albion in what could be a season defining relegation six-pointer.

Going into the game both teams have selection dilemmas with injuries and transfer speculation affecting them.

Burton have been hit by a sickness bug this week and they are definitely without their new signing Luke Varney who was unluckily injured in last week’s cup defeat to Watford. The striker will be out for some time after suffering a punctured lung and broken rib.

Top scorer Jackson Irvine, striker Chris O’Grady, defender Ben Miller and midfielder Will Miller are all doubtful for the game.

Latics are still without several key players and the injury list lengthened when Nick Powell hobbled off against Nottingham Forest with a reoccurrence of the hamstring strain that has plagued his career so far.

It seems that the 22-year-old could be out for the rest of the season, which would be a huge blow to the club that gambled on him making such a big impact.

Speculation continues about Saturday’s Man of the Match Sam Morsy’s possible transfer to Barnsley.

The two clubs have an agreement about the transfer fee but the player has yet to agree personal terms. I expect Morsy to play at Burton, if no agreement is reached with the Tykes.

Warren Joyce will want the FA Cup win to be the catalyst for Latics to put a winning run together in the Championship. With Latics six points from safety, there cannot be a repeat of the disastrous result at Rotherham on Boxing Day.

The manager will be aware that the players didn’t turn up in the first half at the New York Stadium and a similar performance against Burton would be catastrophic for the club’s survival chances.

This article was first published in the 12th Man column for the Wigan Evening Post on Friday 13th January 2017.

About ianhaspinall

Communications specialist, Wigan Athletic fan & blogger, interested in music, arts & culture.
This entry was posted in Burton Albion, Championship, FA Cup, Manchester United, Warren Joyce, Wigan Athletic and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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