New Season, New Team
In the build-up to #FixtureReleaseDay we will be delving into the seven new teams in League One next season.
The next installment profiles Wigan Athletic.
It doesn’t feel that long ago that Wigan Athletic were in the Premier League and causing one of the biggest cup upsets in FA Cup history by beating Manchester City in the final.
The reason it doesn’t feel that long ago is because that was only 2013, and in the subsequent four years Wigan have yo-yoed between the Championship and League One.
Whilst in the Premier League the Latics were heralded by many for overachieving under Roberto Martinez, since he left following their relegation Wigan haven’t quite recovered.
Last season three different managers weren’t able to keep Wigan from making an immediate return to League One with the Latics unquestionably looking for stability this coming campaign.
Manager – Paul Cook
Having guided Portsmouth back into League One, Wigan acted quickly to bring Paul Cook to the DW Stadium with the former Wigan Athletic player taking the helm last month.
As well as Wigan, Cook played for a whole host of Football League clubs, including Norwich City, Wolves, Coventry and Burnley in a playing career spanning 23 years.
Cook’s first taste in management was in non-league with Southport before spells at Sligo Rovers, Accrington, Chesterfield and then Portsmouth where he won the League Two title last season.
Ground – DW Stadium
The DW Stadium became the new home of Wigan Athletic in 1999 and also plays host to Super League side Wigan Warriors.
The ground has a capacity of 25,138 but with the likes of Manchester United, Manchester City and even Bolton Wanderers nearby, the Latics struggle to pack the ground out.
The stadium is all-seater and has four single-tiered stands which are all relatively steep, with away fans housed in the North Stand which, alone, can hold almost 5,000.
How they Reached League One
Despite coming up as champions of League One, Wigan endured a miserable season in the Championship and made an immediate return to the third tier.
Just two wins in their first 10-games meant that, from the get-go, the Latics were in a relegation battle and it wasn’t long until Gary Caldwell was sacked, being replaced by Warren Joyce.
The former Manchester United reserve team boss was unable to turn Wigan’s fortunes around and he lasted less than five months before he was given his marching orders with six wins out of 24.
By then, Wigan were 23rd and cut adrift from safety and despite a late surge, including a miraculous win from 2-0 down against Barnsley, their relegation was confirmed after a 1-0 defeat to Reading.
Summer Transfer Activity
In: Chey Dunkley (Oxford United, free)
Out: Andrew Taylor (Bolton Wanderers, free)
Released: Stephen Warnock, Jussi Jaaskelainen, Gabriel Obertan
Wigan Athletic Facts and Figures:
Nickname(s): The Latics
Club Colours: Blue and White
Ground Address: DW Stadium, Loire Drive, Wigan, WN5 0UZ
Ground Capacity: 25,138
Distance from Roots Hall: 236 miles
Position Last Season: 23rd in the Championship
Last Time We Met
Saturday 23rd April 2016 – Sky Bet League One
Wigan Athletic 4 vs 1 Southend United
Chris McCann 9’, Will Grigg 17’, 36’, Michael Jacobs 50’; Craig Morgan O.G. 74’