Wigan Athletic managed to secure a potentially vital point with a 2-2 draw away at Cardiff City on Saturday, which saw Paul Cook’s side close to within three points of safety in the Championship.
The draw against Cardiff was Wigan’s second successive 2-2 draw, with the Latics having also held Middlesbrough to a draw by the same scoreline in their previous home match – and those two results have allowed Cook’s side to recover from a 2-1 defeat against Preston North End.
Wigan have now suffered just one defeat in their last five Championship matches, which suggests they are starting to find the type of form they will be needing to help them avoid relegation back to League One during the rest of the campaign.
However, the Latics might be frustrated that they were only able to pick up a point against Cardiff on Saturday, after Cook’s side managed to take the lead twice in the first half, with Kieffer Moore scoring both goals to put them in a promising position entering the break.
An own goal from Kal Naismith just ten minutes into the second period, though, cancelled out Wigan’s 2-1 advantage, but Wigan were at least able to withstand some attacking pressure from the hosts during the rest of the half, to ensure they would come away with a least a point.
Wigan will take plenty of positives from their performance against Cardiff, with the display of Moore in particular up front giving them much to build on over the next few weeks, as they look to pull themselves out of the relegation zone.
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Here then, we take a look at Moore’s performance against Cardiff, to asses whether he could be the man to lead the club to safety…
Moore has taken a little time to really settle into life at Wigan since his move to the club in the summer, but the 27-year-old has really started to establish himself as a vital player for the Latics over the last few games – and he was again named in Cook’s starting line-up for the trip to Cardiff on Saturday.
The striker has been receiving some criticism so far this campaign for not having managed to convert too many chances in the final third, with Moore having only scored three goals in 22 Championship appearances prior to the weekend, but against Cardiff he registered his first ever brace in the English second tier.
The 27-year-old took his first goal in confident fashion to give the Latics the lead after just five minutes, and he was able to again show his composure in front of goal, this time from the penalty spot during the dying minutes of the first half, slotting the ball confidently beyond Alex Smithies to put Wigan back in front.
Moore with those goals was able to show his potential to be efficient in the final third with his chances, with those two strikes being one of only three efforts on goal for the 27-year-old throughout the 99 minutes against Cardiff.
As well as providing a real goal threat up front for Wigan, Moore was able to use his physical presence to help hold the ball up and give Wigan the platform to clear their lines and get up the pitch when they were being put under pressure, with the striker winning 50% of his aerial duels throughout the match.
The striker might not be the most natural of pressers from the front, but he was able to show he has the ability to close down defenders and prevent teams getting into any passing rhythm, with Moore making three interceptions throughout.
One aspect of his game that he will be hoping to improve moving forwards, though, is his passing, with Moore only managing at average a 53% passing accuracy against Cardiff – and if he can slightly improve that and continue to show his other attributes, he could be the player to get Wigan out of trouble.