It’s been a very eventful week at Wigan Athletic with FA Cup drama, transfer activity, a tragic death and the prospect of a difficult game against Peterborough United.
After a great performance at Premier League Bournemouth the team were only denied progress into the FA Cup fourth round by a 92nd minute equaliser.
In what was a very entertaining game, Latics had taken a two-goal lead through Will Grigg and a deflected Nick Powell free kick before the Cherries pegged them back through French striker Lys Mousset.
With the game moving into added time Latics should have had a penalty when Ivan Toney was pushed in the back by defender Adam Smith. Having watched the video replay back numerous times I’m convinced that Toney was pushed in the area.
The decision was doubly cruel as Bournemouth went up the other end and equalised through Steve Cook.
After the game news emerged that loanee midfielder Lee Evans would be moving to Sheffield United from parent club Wolves for £750,000.
Evans has been integral to Latics’ success this season forming a great partnership with Sam Morsy in front of the back four. He has also scored two cracking goals against Bury and Crawley.
He will clearly be missed but Latics will be hoping that the in-form Max Power and the returning Shaun MacDonald can fill the gap.
Next to leave was another loanee Ivan Toney who returned to his parent club Newcastle United. The striker scored six goals as understudy to the now fit again Will Grigg.
The likelihood is that Toney will be replaced in the near future, possibly with another loan signing or Sunderland striker James Vaughan who has been in negotiations with Latics.
The first of several expected signings arrived this week when Hearts Jamie Walker joined the club for a fee in the region of £300,000 on a two-and-a-half-year deal.
The 24-year-old can play on either wing or just behind the main striker, but the challenge now is to see if he can make the transition to English football.
There was very sad news on Tuesday when it emerged that the former Latics player and Honduras international Juan Carlos Garcia’s had died from Leukemia aged just 29.
The defender joined Latics in 2013 from Honduran club Olimpia and played his only game in a League Cup tie at the Etihad Stadium against Manchester City in September of that year.
A minute’s silence will be held in honour of Juan Carlos ahead of tomorrow’s match against Peterborough.
I’m expecting the Posh to provide a stern test at the DW. They are currently in ninth place in the table with 39 points but will still be hoping to make the play-offs.
They defeated Latics 3-2 at the Abax Stadium back in September and they knocked Aston Villa out of the FA Cup last Saturday with top scorer Jack Marriott twice on target.
The prolific Marriott has scored 23 goals in all competitions this season and he will pose a big threat to Latics’ defence.
The Posh are a strong counter-attacking team and have some dangerous forwards alongside Marriott with Danny Lloyd (nine goals) and Marcus Maddison (seven goals).
Defensively they also concede plenty of goals, 37 so far this season, so I’m going to stick my neck out and predict a high scoring game with Latics coming out on top.
This article was first published in the Wigan Evening Post on Friday 12th January 2018.