View From T'Other Side-Wigan
Worbo (from Vital Wigan) and TMP have got together to compare notes about the crucial game for both clubs coming up on Saturday at the DW Stadium. We provide below Worbo's answers to our questions and if you want to know how I replied to his then nip over to Vital Wigan and perhaps make a few comments. It will be good to banter with the Wigan lads & lasses. Click this link:
Latics Speyk to Burnley LINK
1. Wigan seem to be having an inconsistent season to say the least. Beating Liverpool one minute and then getting stuffed 4-0 by Bolton the next seems to sum up your season. How do the Wigan fans view 2009/10 so far and what have been the problems?
Inconsistent, now there`s a word that has become synonymous with our season. The supporters have been split over the reasons, some think its down squarely to the manager others that we are going through one almighty change and we`ll come out the other side a much stronger better club.
If the problem was easy to identify then we`d be challenging near the top. Having seen us completely demolish Chelsea one week then lose against Hull the following, and like you say Phil repeated with the victory over Liverpool followed by the defeat to Bolton it could well be that the players are able to get up for the big games but struggle for the bread and butter stuff. However in all honesty I have no idea though I always felt that this season would see us finish in the bracket between 17th and 14th, looks like I just might be right.
2. How much has the poor condition of the pitch at the DW been a factor for you this season and what is the current state of the pitch?
The pitch as been awful and seeing as we like to keep possession and knock the ball around its been a massive problem, but we`ve just had it re-laid and what a difference, we beat Liverpool and played well against an excellent Villa side narrowly losing 2-1 to an og and deflection
3. What are Wigan's strengths and weaknesses at the moment and what could the Clarets try and exploit?
Strengths are our counter attack, N`Zogbia, I hope he`s fit to play and Rodallega are both direct on the ball and will run at defenders also, Bolton apart, the defence has tightened up considerably following the signing of Gary Caldwell and look a lot meaner than earlier in the season.
Weakness is definitely our inability to kill teams off, we have lost 19 points from winning positions this season and we do seem to lack the killer instinct. If we take the lead don`t fear the worse.
4. Brian Laws is walking a bit of a tightrope at the moment with the fans and we badly need to start winning to keep some of them off his back. I abhor booing of the manager and players at matches and think it totally counter-productive and soul destroying especially if you are still within a chance of beating the drop. How are the Wigan fans reacting to Roberto Martinez, does he still have your full support or are some of the fans beginning to get restless by airing their discontent at the games?
As mentioned earlier it appears to be split but we have run a few polls on Vital Wigan and they always come out roughly 75% in favour of the boss, but like you Phil I get disconsolate when the vocal minority start to boo or shout obscenities, it does no good whatsoever and I agree it is really counterproductive, the players get even more edgy and nervous, they get afraid on the ball and start to make mistakes.
5. You have consolidated pretty well in the top flight these past few seasons but should you not survive the drop this time, what would that mean for your club? There has been a lot of talk about debt-ridden clubs in the top flight whilst Burnley have made this moral stance that they are not prepared to go into debt so that if relegation happens we would be in a stronger position to make another challenge for promotion. If you did go down, how well placed are you to survive it and come back up? My understanding is that if Dave Whelan with his £39 million unsecured, interest free loan left, the club would be plunged into crisis
Thats just the same as saying Chelsea would fold without Abramovich propping them up, which they probably would.
We owe a lot to Dave Whelan and he has stumped the cash up for our little adventure. He has said that he wants to make the Latics financially self sufficient and has been reducing the debt of late. If we did go down I believe we would have one serious attempt to get back up and then mainly due to his age, he would probably withdraw the finances, but not in a way to sink us.
With the size of our fan base we would struggle to maintain a serious challenge at the top of Championship once the parachute payments finished.
6. If you could have one of our players who would it be and why?
Robbie Blake has always been a player that I have admired but obviously he is getting on a bit now, Steven Fletcher looks a good striker and I like what I have seen of him this season.
7. Your impressions of the Clarets this year and your impression of both Owen Coyle and Brian Laws?
Well you started like a house on fire and Coyle certainly knew how to use home advantage but I always felt due to the age of some of your key players and the lack of quality in depth of the Burnley squad that you would struggle as the season wore on, we see it every year, us, Reading, Hull all found out the same.
I was surprised when Coyle jumped ship I thought he would have shown some loyalty and stayed until the end of the season at least. I was equally surprised when Brian Laws was appointed, having lost Coyle and being in a desperate situation I`d have thought a more experienced Premier League campaigner would have been brought in.
At least you didn`t get Iain Dowie!!!
8. You say Burnley are one of your candidates for the drop but if we beat you on Saturday, how confident would you then be of staying up and would you still see the Clarets going down?
I think regardless of the result on Saturday Burnley will go down, you`ve got some difficult games coming up and your recent form suggests that you wont be picking up too many points, if you beat us though we will probably be joining you.
9. Your prediction for Saturday?
I`m going for a 1-0 or 2-0 win for the Latics...I`ll stick my neck out then 1-0
10. Can you recommend any decent away friendly pubs for our visiting fans?
The Red Robin on the retail park at the away end of the ground is good for away fans, it also serves food so if you peckish you can get something to eat in there.
We thank Worbo for his time in answering our questions and providing I am sure you will agree, some excellent answers and thought-provoking responses.