This article is part of Football League World’s ‘Rewind’ series, this content strand is where we rewind back to a particular moment at a club, assess the initial reaction from the fans, and then proceed to evaluate and reflect on whether fans were right to react in that way….
Wigan Athletic were scheduled to play Blackburn Rovers on Wednesday night, but following the EFL suspension that game as well as the rest of the fixtures in the next few weeks have all been called off.
That game would have seen both sides looking to pick up all three points, with Wigan having managed to hold Blackburn Rovers to a goalless draw in their clash on 23rd December, in a game which ultimately was completely overshadowed by a worrying looking injury to Rovers’ Bradley Dack.
Paul Cook’s side headed into the game on the back of ten Championship matches without a win, with their last victory having come in a 1-0 win against Nottingham Forest at the DW Stadium back in October, and that run had left the Latics inside the relegation zone and needing to turn around their form to avoid getting cut adrift.
A Lancashire Derby on Monday night at Ewood Park represented a very tough challenge for the Latics, but also the potential for them to pick up a much-needed win, which could have seen them climb out of the relegation zone and give them hopes of improving their form over the rest of the festive period and beyond.
The Latics had failed to win a single match on their travels in the Championship ahead of their trip to Blackburn, as Cook’s side continued to struggle for regular wins away from home which had been a real issue for them last term and one which dragged them into the thick of the relegation battle.
Contrastingly, Blackburn were enjoying a strong period of form in front of their own supporters, with Tony Mowbray’s side having been on a six-match unbeaten run at Ewood Park, which was seeing them continue to keep to within a few points of the play-off places.
The match itself proved to be a very even and tight encounter, with neither side really able to really take control of the game, with Blackburn just edging out the Latics in terms of possession but Wigan were abled to fire in more efforts on goal, while both sides had four efforts on target.
The second period offered more drama by the way of goal mouth action, with Jamal Lowe going close to giving Wigan the lead on the hour mark with an effort which flew just a yard or so wide of the goal, as Cook’s side looked to show their attacking intent after being forced onto the back foot at the start of the half.
Wigan came very close to securing all three points, with Walton making two big saves to deny both Sam Morsy and Cedric Kipre from scoring what would have been the winning goal, but neither team were ultimately able to find the breakthrough as the game ended goalless.
QUIZ: Can you name these 15-ex Wigan Athletic defenders?
The full-time reaction from Wigan supporters was mixed, with some fans feeling they needed to see more, while other took the positives from the game…
A point isn't good enough in our situation, cook needs stop bringing on defenders in the last 15 minutes. And go all out and bring on geldhart
— Jack Lord (@jacklord_1) December 23, 2019
A point wasn't good enough but to be fair can't fault the performance tonight… except in front of goal but got to also give Waltpn some credit there
— Victoria Breheny (@VickieBreheny) December 23, 2019
Absolutely pointless if we can’t score goals
— Will Rayner (@WillWarriors71) December 23, 2019
Winger off , centre half on. Get him outttttt
— Jim Pesh (@JimPesh1989) December 23, 2019
Great effort. Need more upfront to be honest .gelhardt needs a chance at this level. Need to gamble a bit..good point tonight though upthetics ⚽️
— andy kirk (@andynkirk) December 23, 2019
Unlucky not to take all 3 points, in the same position as us really.. just don't put chances away. Every point matters away from home, so it could be a good point, but home form needs to improve. 3 points is vital against Derby, can't make Burton with Tranmere so Wigan it is!
— Daniel Kelly (@Daniel_Kelly96) December 23, 2019
Great performance that proud of um deserve to win but ah well…
— Ste (@TraderWafc89) December 23, 2019
The result was not enough for Wigan to prevent Wigan from extending their winless run in the Championship to 11 league matches, and saw Cook’s side remain inside the division’s bottom three, although they did at least manage to lift themselves off the foot of the table.
What followed for the Latics was another frustrating couple of games, which saw them pegged back by a late equaliser at home to Derby County in a 1-1 draw at the DW Stadium, before they then fell to a 1-0 defeat at Nottingham Forest in the final league game of 2019.
That had left Cook’s side back at the foot of the table and in danger of getting cut adrift, but they managed to pick up their first win in 13 league games and their first away win of the season with a 3-2 success at Birmingham City on New Year’s day.
That result has helped to kick start a much better run of form for the Latics, with Wigan managing to win five of their last 11 Championship matches which has included them picking up big victories against Leeds United and West Bromwich Albion both away from home.
Those results have seen the Latics climb out of the bottom three, with Cook’s side currently sitting in 20th place in the table, with a two-point cushion on the relegation zone, which represents a remarkable turnaround for Wigan since the start of the New Year.
Wigan will be hopeful of building on that form whenever the season can resume, and Cook’s side will be ideally looking to pick all three points when they can eventually play their game against Blackburn at the DW Stadium.