Nathan Broadhead’s late goal helped Wigan Athletic secure a remarkable victory against Birmingham City despite the away side playing almost 90 minutes with 10 men.
Here’s 5 takeaway points from yesterday’s game!
1) Heart. Desire. Determination.
These 3 words featured across all of the clubs social media posts and I don’t think they could’ve put it any better. Ever since Leam Richardson took charge those are the main qualities of our squad and it makes results like yesterday possible. When we went down to 10 men it would’ve been very easy for the lads to get frustrated, lose concentration and cave in to the pressure of the situation. Thankfully Leam, the coaching staff and everyone behind the scenes at the club have created the tightest of tight bonds between the squad that allows them to keep fighting right till the end, for each other not just themselves.
2) Red Mist…
It’s funny how things work in football isn’t it. Last weekend Joe Bennett escaped a red card after kicking out at Joe Williams, a petulant act that should’ve been punished fully. Yesterday he was dismissed for a last man foul on Lukas Jutkiewicz after just 10 minutes, but replays show that there was minimal if any contact on the Blues forward and it shouldn’t even have been a foul. Bennett hasn’t enjoyed the best start to the season but this was an unfortunate moment and you’d like to think it’ll get rescinded upon appeal.
3) Ministers of Defence!
The 5 man back line of McClean, Kerr, Watmough, Nyambe and Darikwa yesterday were immense but I’m going to give special mention to the latter 2 for their performances yesterday. Ryan Nyambe was introduced after the red card and slotted into RCB, whilst our captain Tendayi Darikwa occupied a more advanced RWB position. In the second half the pair swapped places briefly, and towards the end of the game when we moved back to a 4 they took both full back spots. They were both immense in defence and showed us exactly why they’re known as the Namibian and Zimbabwean Ministers of Defence!
4) Take Your Chance!
A criticism I’ve had of Latics this season was how wasteful we were in front of goal in our opening 3 fixtures. When we went down to 10 men yesterday you felt as though we’d still get chances but weren’t totally confident in them being taken. Tom Naylor dragged a great chance wide in the first half whilst Callum Lang spurned a huge opportunity mid way through the second half that summed up his tricky start to the season. However, when substitute Nathan Broadhead, the man with the highest conversion rate in League 1 last season, was sent through on goal there was only one outcome. Latics have a real finisher in Broadhead and yesterday’s goal showed exactly what he’s about.
5) Charlie Wyke Wyke Wyke!
He’s back! After 10 months out following a heart attack in training our number 9, our talisman and our inspirational forward Charlie Wyke returned to competitive action yesterday and showed everyone what a wonderful player he is. The noise in the away end when he was introduced as a 70th minute substitute for Will Keane was immense and his song rang out for minutes after his entrance. When he chased down a long ball from Max Power, rag dolled his marker and played a beautiful reverse pass into Broadhead for the goal it capped off a fairy tale return for the 29 year old. It doesn’t make his absence worth the wait, nothing will, but it was a fantastic moment that will live with everyone associated with Wigan Athletic for a long time. Ole ole, ole ole…