Wigan Athletic drew 2-2 with Burnley, in a game which saw the away side dominate early proceedings before the Latics hit back. Wigan starts their Championship campaign against Cardiff City this week at the DW Stadium.
Paul Cook’s men ended their pre-season preparations on two positive performances, drawing with strong Premier League sides Everton and Burnley.
Wigan now has six days to strengthen their armour, ahead of the season starting next Saturday. Although, after a number of impressive displays from youngsters, do they need as many incomings as originally planned?
Let’s look at two things we learnt from Wigan’s final warm-up match vs Burnley…
Danny Fox is our best central defender
Bear in mind he’s vastly experienced and played at this level for many years, it’s expected. Chey Dunkley and Cedric Kipre are young, inexperienced but strong and improving defenders. The difference for me – Fox reads the game so much better. In the first half, Burnley opened us up a number of times, particularly through the movement of Jay Rodriguez, which resulted in the away side grabbing a quick 0-2 lead.
Fox was introduced after the break and we looked a completely different side. Reads the game brilliantly, strong in the air, and also a very good footballer. He starts attacks with his arrowed cross-field passes, just an underrated player.
Anthony Pilkington is pushing for a start vs Cardiff
The majority of us expected Michael Jacobs and Gavin Massey to be starting on the wings next week, however, Pilkington has played himself right into contention. He scored his third goal of pre-season yesterday, a good finish following quality play from Josh Windass. The winger is playing with confidence and looks back to his best.
Also, his versatility is key. Pilkington can play across the forward line, both footed, scores goals, beats players, just all-round a good player to have in your squad. After his superb debut vs Aston Villa, I was expecting a big season from him. However, it faded out, whether it was down to lack of match fitness or just not clicking with the other forwards. Hopefully, a full pre-season has allowed him to get up to full speed and form partnerships with Windass, Jacobs and Massey. An important season coming up for Pilkington.