12th Man – You Are My Sunshine When Skies Are Grey


Chey Dunkley

Last Saturday in some of the worst conditions I have experienced at a football match, Latics still managed to stay composed, play controlled football and produce a memorable victory at Bloomfield Road.

In the extremely wet and windy conditions Chey Dunkley had inadvertently gifted Blackpool the lead when he headed over Jamie Jones.

But the big central defender was able to shrug off his disappointment and show great character by first drawing Latics level just before half time and then giving them the lead in the second half.

The icing was put on the proverbial cake when the fans’ favourite, David Perkins, scored his first ever goal for the club much to the great delight of the travelling fans.

The performance was testament to the power of manager Paul Cook’s leadership skills, as many teams would have crumbled in the adverse conditions after going a goal behind so early in the game away from home.

Latics’ players showed their skill and determination by persevering with their short passing football and not resorting to long ball tactics.

Cook and his coaching team have instilled good habits into the players and there was no sense of panic despite going a goal behind.

The strength and depth of Latics’ squad is also paying dividends as despite the absence of the suspended Lee Evans and the injured Will Grigg they have continued their excellent form.

It was an important result, which helped Latics to open up an eight-point gap on Bradford City and Charlton Athletic and kept the pressure on surprise leaders Shrewsbury Town.

After 15 games the League One table is starting to take some shape with many of the teams expected to be in the promotion mix now in the top half of the table.

Latics will face a real test of their promotion credentials on Saturday when they come up against Blackburn Rovers.

Rovers were the close season favourites for promotion and after an indifferent start to the campaign they have now moved into the play-off places with two games in hand on most of the teams above them.

Since Tony Mowbray was appointed as their manager in February this year they have only lost nine of his 32 games in charge, a win rate of nearly 44 per cent.

One of Latics’ former transfer targets Rovers midfielder Bradley Dack is starting to hit some form and has gained many plaudits for his performances.

The 23-year-old former Gillingham star is even being tipped by his manager to one day play in the Premier League.

But Latics have their own special midfielder in captain Sam Morsy and I’m expecting the hard-tackling Egyptian to keep Dack in check on this occasion and help Latics to maintain their excellent home record.

This article was first published in the Wigan Evening Post on Friday 27th October 2017.


About ianhaspinall

Communications specialist, Wigan Athletic fan & blogger, interested in music, arts & culture.
This entry was posted in Blackburn Rovers, Blackpool, Bradley Dack, Chey Dunkley, David Perkins, League One, Tony Mowbray, Wigan Athletic and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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