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Fan Focus: Pie Eaters Footie Provide Some Words On Wigan Atheltic

A change of tactics has left Martinez and Latics a like smiling from ear to ear. Read more, here...
A change of tactics has left Martinez and Latics a like smiling from ear to ear. Read more, here...

There's no let-up in the games, and there's no let-up in our coverage either as we head down to Wigan just days after the Manchester City game.

This of course means it's time for another Fan Focus, and we've turned to our go-to guy for all things Wigan, Kieran - The editor of SB Nation's Wigan site "Pie Eaters Footie" (click here to visit).

Whilst we've had a change of fortunes of late following Martin O'Neill's arrival, so have Wigan via sticking with Roberto Martinez, and some tactical innovation. With that in mind, let's take a look at what's happening down in Lancashire...

Wigan seem to have had an upturn in fortunes since we last spoke, what's happened?

Kieran: Lots in all honesty there has been a lot of off field work by the staff which is now finally starting to show, while Martinez has started to play with the same consistent line up week in week out. The players know who they are playing alongside and where they are playing. Everyone out of the team is then gunning to get in when they get on the field. Shown by how well we have done in the last two away games against West Brom and yourselves.

As for on the pitch there has been a massive upturn in one players performances who I would say has changed the team. That is Jordi Gomez. The player who many will agree with me we use to call donkey boy, as somehow managed to turn it around and play some amazing football. He has really come into his own and plays how we first expected him too, that attacking spark.

Martinez looks to be employing a 3-man defence at the moment. Is this what we should expect to see on Tuesday? How are the players adapting to it?

Kieran: Yeah from now to end of season, probably through next year; it's a very good system. It means we can have three players continually back in a defensive position allowing more players to get forward, while having the traditional wing back deployed.

It worked well against Chelsea where they played one up front. All our defence had to do was stick two on him and take him out the game and there went their attacking threat. With many teams playing one man up front it seems to work well.

Has any one player really come to the fore during this mini-revival?

Kieran: As I said before Jordi Gomez has changed 110% for the better. I don't know what they have started feeding him but keep it going. He use to be slow sluggish and really never in games. Yet anything good attacking wise he seems to be at the centre of it.

Martinez refered to him as Wigan's David Silva, I wouldn't go that far. But they play similar roles and Gomez at the moment is doing a very good job playing within that role given free licence to roam about the pitch at will.

How confident are you of staying up now? Many had written Wigan off earlier in the season...

Kieran: We like to do things the hard way, wouldn't be Wigan if we didn't. But there is a sense that this team when we hit s run of teams we can beat now could really push on up the League. Hopefully we can gain survival and finish around about 13th.

That really has to be the aim, after January we have a run of very much winnable games. If we keep it going then, we should be home and dry.

If you were in charge of Wigan, who would be your No.1 January transfer target?

Kieran: I don't really have a player in mind just a position as do many fans of the club. We really need a striker who can go up front and score 20 goals a season without breaking sweat. Now they are hard players to come by and really I would be surprised if we got someone like that.

Yet someone who can score goals and gives defenders to think about up top is a must for us in January, as it is very likely that Hugo Rodallega will be out by the end of the transfer window.

We've also had our own reversal of fortunes since Martin O'Neill's come in. What do you make of his appointment for us?

Kieran: For me you got the best man outside of football. He could make any team of players play to their full potential and he will see you good all the way. He is a man manger and somehow seems to know who to buy when and where and when to play them.

I feel it maybe a question of time before he makes his mark on Sunderland and pushes them upwards.

Any one from our side give you cause for concern ahead of the game?

Kieran: Well there are two players who stick out for me. As ever there is your top goal-scorer Sebastian Larsson who I am a great admirer of, he can hit a target from almost anywhere and can always create a chance with the great balls he can deliver into the box.

While Nicklas Bendnter always make me wonder, a hit and miss player who seems to be a bit of a hit at the moment. Be interesting to see how he gets on against us.

Where do you think you can get the upper hand in this game?

Kieran: I think Victor Moses will provide the touch of class again. No defence yet has managed to really keep him out for a full 90 minutes and he seems to be growing more and more in confidence. If only Moses could finish then we wouldn't be in the bottom three, but he is growing and will be a big threat for us as ever.

What's your prediction for the game?

Kieran: Not sure. We tend to get dull 1-0's at our ground. I'm hoping really for more of the same so long as Latics win, which I have a feeling we might do if we start of well and can get a goal in. Then that will be the game wrapped up.


Many thanks to Kieran, and of course if you're ever in need of some Wigan perspective, head on over to his excellent Pie Eaters Footie site, and follow along on Twitter @HeapyLatic

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