Wigan Athletic seem to be heading towards another season of away day blues, with just 2 wins in nearly 18 months away from home, how will we progress.
Fortunately this dismal away form has coincided with a tremendous record at the DW Stadium, one which is suited more to promotion contenders than mid table safety.
The away results though are certainly relegation material and this needs to change. Not just because we want to see our team competing for the play offs or even automatic promotion, but also because our fans need something to be cheery about.
We do keep the bookies second guessing themselves, ComeOn Betting after the Nottingham Forest game were giving great odds for us, but the Derby result soon brought back an air of pessimism to our plight.
The average mileage an away fan can clock up is around 3,500 miles over a season. That seems a long time on the road, but it makes all the difference if results reward them. Journeys seem to take a lot longer after a loss.
Take Derby for instance, Latics were looking good for most of the game only to be sucker punched in the dying seconds. Middlesbrough, we dominated for long periods only to come away with nothing.
But what exactly is the secret to turning those games into wins? I suppose it’s the million dollar question, but one that needs an answer. Is it formation? Is it the players? Is it the manager?
At the recent fans forum with Paul Cook, he stated that preparations for away games are exactly the same as for home games. They train the same, they do the same research and obviously he plays the same players.
I wonder if that begs the question after 18 months of dire results, maybe he should prepare differently, use different tactics and maybe even change the team around a bit for games away from the DW Stadium. Seems common sense doesn’t it?
We have games coming up against Stoke (one of the away wins), Millwall, Luton and Blackburn Rovers up next on our travels. All of these teams look to have a little less talent than us this season and so I class us a step above where their ambitions are and so we really should be winning these games at worst.
We therefore should be looking for 7 to 9 points out of these as a minimum. Easy said than done though, because of this unwanted away record, the team is nervous, looking to not lose rather than win. Shots on target away from home are less than 3 a game.
The team needs to give the fans something to cheer about away from home and these next 4 away games are a great setting for them to do it. We can only hope they do.
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