- Wigan Athletic v Rotherham United match preview.
- Graham Barrow: “Time for the players to deliver.”
- Latics in vital match against The Millers.
WIGAN ATHLETIC v ROTHERHAM UNITED
SKY BET CHAMPIONSHIP
SATURDAY 8 April 2017
Kick off 3.00pm
TICKETS: Purchase in advance for best price, details here
GRAHAM BARROW: Read the Interim Manager’s thoughts prior to the game, here
MR GREEN: All the latest odds with the club’s new betting partner, here
This really is a must win game for us, there’s no other way to view the situation. Seven points from safety with six games to go, the next two matches, this one and Thursday’s match at home to Barnsley, really have taken on immense significance. Should Latics win here against relegated Rotherham then they can go into Barnsley with confidence.
That’s all there is to it.
All the players’ minds need to be focused on this challenge first, against a side who can play with the freedom of knowing that their season is over. As Graham Barrow said, time to deliver…
Paul Warne, appointed permanently this week
Barrow said there were no fresh injury worries arising from Ipswich, that is one slight positive in the face of us having to miss Omar Bogle, Will Grigg, Nick Powell, Andy Kellett, Ryan Tunnicliffe and Donervon Daniels.
SEASON SO FAR
It has been a pretty catastrophic 2016-17 for The Millers, with Latics’ own season only slightly better. Relegation was confirmed following defeat at home to Fulham last weekend and the team can now start to rebuild for League One next season following the appointment of former Latics striker Paul Warne as the permanent manager.
The figures make horrible reading for all connected to The Millers, but they go into this game on the back of just one point from the last 42 available, or put another way one draw and 13 defeats from the last 14, including nine straight defeats prior to Saturday.
CURRENT SQUAD, 2016-17 LEADING LEAGUE GOALSCORERS
Danny Ward, 9
Jon Taylor, 4
Tom Adeyemi, 4
Joe Newell, 2
Richard Wood, 2
Aimen Belaid, 2
HEAD TO HEAD
This fixture has got some real history. Latics fans will want to banish memories of when the sides last met, on Boxing Day, preferring to remember Jermaine Pennant’s brilliant free-kick double which earned Latics a win at the New York Stadium in March 2015. On the negative side, The Millers also won at the DW on their previous visit, earlier that season, Alex Revell among the scorers in a 2-1 win, a year or so before coming to us on loan.
This is actually a contest that actually stretches back to 1935, when newly formed Latics lost out 2-1 at Springfield Park to then Third Division North United in the FA Cup.
The clubs didn’t meet again for nearly 50 years, however, when Wigan Athletic faced Rotherham in the old Division 3 for five successive seasons, starting in 1983-84 (League One level now). Since then the teams have met intermittently over the course of the seasons in both the second and third tiers of the football pyramid, although there was a nine year gap between 2005 and 2014 when Latics were in the Premier League.
In terms of league encounters, the teams have met 25 times, Latics have the edge in terms of wins, 13-7, with only five draws having been registered. Looking at those numbers, then, history would point towards a positive result, let’s pray for it being another Latics win.
PLAYED FOR BOTH CLUBS
There have been some notable alumni over the years to tie the two clubs together. Warne we have already mentioned, but Mike Pollitt probably heads the list having served both clubs well. Current players Craig Morgan and Reece James also had a brief spell on loan at the New York Stadium, while Richard O'Donnell is at United having switched from Bristol City. Adam le Fondre is another recent player to link both, as are Revell, James Tavernier and Haris Vuckic. Going back in time, Andy Liddell, Don Page and Andy Ainscow played for both too. United midfielder Jon Taylor was a Latics trainee but was released at the age of 16 and never played for us.
Alex Revell, in Rotherham colours
Referee - Scott Duncan: 2016-17, 33 matches, Y99, R10
Assistant Referee 1 - Tony Peart
Assistant Referee 2 - Shaun Hudson
Fourth Official - Nick Hopton