View From The Town End: Wigan

Paul Thomas

With the Championship coming into its final stages, the Royals face Wigan at the DW Stadium in a massive clash of 5th vs 6th place. However, Reading have lost their last three against the Latics in the league, so it will certainly be a tough game. Ahead of the fixture, we spoke to Kieran Heapy from PIe Eaters Football for the Wigan view of the upcoming match.

How would you sum up Wigan's season so far?

The season has been a real mixed bag really. Been historical on two fronts, firstly our first ever games in Europe, and secondly ironically our second ever FA Cup semi-final experience. However on the other had the league performance, until recently, haven't matched up to what we expected in pre-season. Having said all that, if Uwe Rosler manages to keep us in the top six and we get a play-off place after all the games we have played and the position we were in at the start of December, I think everyone would be extremely happy with how the season has gone for us.

How has Uwe Rosler turned it around?

I think for the complete definition you will have to ask the man himself, but to put it quiet simply, he has given the players and the fans belief hope and fight again. Apparently when asked what Wiagn fans expect from their football team ahead of the Semi-Final on Saturday Rosler's reply was commitment, dedication and effort. Under Owen Coyle we had none of those, nor did we have any sort of game plan.

From day one Rosler came in and picked those lads heads up and told them that they were good players and this is how we are going to play football. Who could argue otherwise now after our rise from 14th when the gaffer took over. Fantastic manager and I can see him going on to big things in the future.

Given your European adventures and valiant FA Cup defence, would fans understand a failure to win promotion?

At the start of the season there was a lot of argument as to what the end of season target was to be. It was quiet clear that over the summer we had a massive re-build to do, and to give credit to Owen Coyle he brought in some fantastic bargain over the summer. What was the general consensus was we wanted the team to challenge for promotion or at least top six and look like we could get back into the Premier League, it might not be totally do able this season but at least give it ago. I personally believe that the lads have done a great job especially since the turn of the year and if we don't get promoted we will be in a great position to go again next season.

You picked up a good win at the Madejski Stadium earlier this season, what were your thoughts on Reading that day and from what else you've seen from us this season?

Very well drilled and organised side under, who I think, is one of the best young managers in this country. He proved at Southampton what he is capable of, and he is slowly starting to put his stamp on Reading. You have been very hard to beat and I think we massively stepped up our game at the Madejski to beat you, saying that it did take a wonder goal from Jean Beausejour to decide it. Having seen most of your game with Leicester City on Monday night I do worry if our lads can step up to the plate, we have been off the boil of late and you look raring to go to keep in the play-offs. Will be an interesting match up.

Anyone Wigan are worried about on Friday?

You have a couple of strikers who I would worried about Pavel Pogrebnyak always looks like a player who could score. Whilst you always have that option of chucking on super sub Adam Le Fondre. Both of them have enough pace and strength to be able to cause whoever we have playing as our center backs problems.

Anyone Reading should be worried about?

Jordi Gomez has hit the form of his life and after his hat-trick against you last season I would put it past him to do it again. Then there is also Martyn Waghorn who since joining the club from Leicester has been nothing short of fantastic for the club and a real threat against any team when he is on the ball. With him up front and Jordi in the midfield pulling the strings we have been able to get results, they would be my two to watch on Friday.

Score prediction?

I am going for a 3-2 same as last year. I think it will be very much we score one, you get one sort of game with both teams looking for that killer blow. Wigan to win it in the last minute for me.

Any tips for Reading fans making the trip to the DW Stadium?

Enjoy the game, and grab a pie of course!

Who are you tipping for promotion alongside Leicester?

It has to be Burnley for that second spot, if they don't get it then there is something wrong with the world! As for who will win the play-offs I have no idea. Would love to see Wigan win them, but I think we could run out of steam. While I don't see QPR doing it to me they have looked poor and only won games as they have an incredibly strong backline. That leaves Derby and the rest of the play-off candidates. I think it is very open this year as it always is, my heart says Wigan but my head I think says it could be Brighton charging up that table.

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