Wigan Athletic desperate to find cure for away woes
Wigan Athletic’s start to the 2019/20 season has suggested they are in for more of the same. Good home performances, but poor away.
The Latics won 41 points at home during the 2018/19 Championship campaign, the 10th best in the division. While winning just 11 points on the road, the joint worst in the league.
No other team had a bigger points difference, in terms of home/away points. Wigan’s was 30, while Brentford’s was 28 – who were the closest to The Latics.
You could argue that as long as you hit a points total you’re happy with, by the end of the season, it doesn’t matter where or how you get to that target. Although, if your home form suddenly goes out of the window, you are in big, big trouble.
I’m not going to pretend I know why our form at home is so much stronger than it is away if I did know I’m sure Paul Cook would be on the phone. However, Saturday’s performance at Preston was terrible, there’s no point covering it up. If we want to progress this season we have to do better on the road.
I do worry whether our squad has enough experience, fight and grit to succeed away from home in this division. Preston started with a midfield three on Saturday, we had Lee Evans and Lewis McLeod who just got overran and outbattled all day. Without trying to sound harsh, why did Cook expect any different to happen? These two aren’t defensive midfielders to start with, they are good technical footballers, not Sam Morsy who is brilliant at winning the ball back.
The midfield battle
The game of football is won and lost in midfield, on Saturday you could see from minute one that we were never winning that midfield battle. I wonder whether it’s time to pack the midfield, play with two quick, wide wingers and a target man up front. A 4-3-3.
Josh Windass was an absolute passenger on Saturday. We were too deep to play him in behind, and couldn’t get the ball off Preston most of the time, due to the lack of numbers in midfield.
Whatever happens, going forward, we need a serious shakeup. We can’t afford to just rely on our home form again, it’s not fair on travelling supporters.