Tics Takeaways – 5 things we learnt from Luton (A)

Wigan Athletic stopped the rot of defeats with a really positive performance in their 1-1 draw against Luton Town in the FA Cup Third Round. Here are 5 things we learnt from the game…

1) We didn’t lose 4-1 this time!

In troubled times you’ve got to try and find the positives in everything, and after our ridiculous run of back to back to back 4-1 defeats its nice to stop that pattern with a battling draw. It was important to put in a good performance yesterday, not only to end the bad run of results but also to give everyone at the club confidence that we can get out of the relegation zone come May. It wasn’t pretty at times, there’s a hell of a lot of work to do, but its a step in the right direction.

2) 5 at the back is back; and here to stay?

Kolo made the decision to play 3-5-2 yesterday and who can blame him given the recent results? There were a few changes to the side and I’m sure he’s still trying to work out his best XI, but based on how things went with us playing this system I wouldn’t be surprised if he plays it more often. We need a better link midfielder than Max Power, and some better ball playing CBs than REG and Tilt and I think it’ll work well. There wasn’t much to shout about going forward but that’ll come in good time.

3) Hard as Nayls!

There’s been a lot of criticism for Tom Naylor this season and I must admit I’ve been at the head of that. However, for what he lacks in the technical ability to play at Championship level he makes up for with his defensive qualities and his tireless work rate. When partnered alongside Jordan Cousins he looks better and if they can have a genuine play maker in front of them it could be a partnership that thrives. He’s also a goal threat and was extremely unlucky not to grab two yesterday…

4) A controversial goal…

In the last minute Tom Naylor headed home from a corner in front of the away end to secure Kolo Touré his first win as Latics manager and send Wigan through to the 4th round. And then the whistle blew. It appears the goal was ruled out for an offside given against Callum Lang who was ‘interfering’ with the Goalkeeper and prevented him from saving the effort. It feels harsh and having watched it back I’m still not convinced it should’ve been disallowed, but at the same time it is a little naïve of Lang to try what he tried and expect to get away with it.

5) Still in the hat!

The draw means Latics will know what’s in store for them should we beat Luton in the replay next week. Its back to back games against the Hatters too as we’ve got them in the league soon too, but if there’s an attractive draw awaiting the winner we could see both teams prioritise the Cup game. Financially its a big deal and the fans would love a game against one of the big boys. The magic of the cup is still alive and well.

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