Meet the opposition: Wigan

1st October 2018
First team

​​​​​​​As Swansea City get set for Tuesday night’s Championship clash with Wigan Athletic, we take a closer look at the men from the DW Stadium.

Who are they?

Wigan are back in the Championship having won the League One title last season, when they just pipped Lancashire rivals Blackburn to the title.

Wigan also won the third tier in 2016 only to go straight back down.

It was not that long ago, of course, that the Latics were a Premier League club. They dropped out of the top flight after an eight-year stay in 2013 – the same year they won the FA Cup under Roberto Martinez.

That cup success, when they stunned Manchester City at Wembley, was the finest hour of a club who did not play in the Football League until 1978.

 

How’s their form?

Impressive. They may have dropped back into the third tier at the first time of asking last time they were in the Championship, but Wigan do not look like being relegation contenders this time around.

In fact, they seem more likely to be at the top end of the table than the bottom.

Some excellent home form has been key to their good start, with 13 points taken from a possible 15 at the DW Stadium so far in 2018-19.

Sheffield Wednesday, Rotherham, Hull and Bristol City have all lost at Wigan, while Nottingham Forest scored a last-gasp equaliser in a 2-2 draw.

Away from home, Wigan romped to victory at Stoke but have lost at Aston Villa, QPR, Brentford and Norwich, where they went down 1-0 in Saturday.

 

Who’s their boss?

Paul Cook. A midfielder in his playing days, Cook turned out for the likes of Wolves, Coventry, Tranmere and Burnley in a lengthy career.

His managerial career began with stints at Southport, Sligo Rovers and Accrington before he really began to make a mark at Chesterfield.

He led them to promotion from the fourth tier before taking over at Portsmouth, where he won the League Two title in 2017.

Cook then switched to Wigan, who won League One in his first season in charge and went on a notable FA Cup run, the highlight of which was victory over Manchester City.

 

Who are the key men?

On-loan Brighton keeper Christian Walton, 22, is Wigan’s current No. 1.

There are more youngsters playing in Cook’s rearguard, such as Antonee Robinson (on loan from Everton) and Reece James (on loan from Chelsea).

The likes of Egypt international Sam Morsy – Cook’s skipper – Michael Jacobs and Welshman Lee Evans bring more experience in midfield.

Attacking midfielder Nick Powell, formerly of Manchester United, is among the most gifted players in the Championship, while striker Will Grigg has started the season well.

Joe Garner, Josh Windass and James Vaughan are among Wigan’s other threats.