The Emirates FA Cup journey continued to Latics whilst the Sky Bet League One promotion bid excelled in a crucial month for Paul Cook’s side.
- Wigan Athletic 2017-18 Season Review: January
- Latics beat AFC Bournemouth and West Ham United in a successful Emirates FA Cup journey
- Join us on the journey for 2018-19 – Season Cards on sale now!
Latics kicked off the New Year with another clean sheet and victory as Powell proved the hero again with his goal decisive as Cook’s side ran out 1-0 winners at Northampton Town on New Year’s Day.
The FA Cup Third Round presented Latics with a trip to the South Coast to face Premier League Bournemouth, where they almost provided a cup upset at the Vitality Stadium. Goals from Grigg and Powell put Latics 2-0 ahead but Lys Mousset and Steve Cook levelled for the Cherries to take the tie to a replay at the DW just over a week later.
Peterborough United held Latics to a 0-0 draw at the DW the following weekend as the club paid tribute to former player Juan Carlos Garcia, who sadly passed away aged 29 after a long battle with Leukaemia.
Really sad news for us all today. We learned of the passing of our former player Juan Carlos Garcia overnight.— Wigan Athletic (@LaticsOfficial) January 9, 2018
Our thoughts are with his family and friends at this tragic time.https://t.co/1Dmuq4BKTC#wafc pic.twitter.com/dZZVplgm3N
The replay with Bournemouth arrived the following Wednesday and Latics produced a performance that upped their season to the next gear as they beat Eddie Howe’s side 3-0 thanks to goals from Morsy, Burn and Elder, the win setting up a Fourth Round tie with West Ham United at the end of the month.
A long trip to Plymouth Argyle wasn’t forgiving to Cook’s players after their cup exploits but they didn’t show it and, despite going behind to a Graham Carey penalty – a goal that prevented Latics from breaking the record for consecutive league clean sheets –, goals from Grigg, Massey and Burn further extended Latics’ lead at the top of the table.
West Ham United were next at the DW in the FA Cup, with David Moyes’ Hammers backed by a strong away following. However, it was once again Latics – and mainly Grigg’s – day in the famous old competition as the striker re-ignited the fire to score twice to send Cook’s side to the Fifth Round. Arthur Masuaku was sent off for the Hammers but that took little away from a performance which saw the nation’s media heaping praise on us for our performance.
Of course with January came transfers and speculation; Cook brought in Jamie Walker, James Vaughan, Jay Fulton and Devante Cole whilst Jack Byrne made his loan move to Oldham Athletic permanent. Deadline Day was nervy, with Premier League interest in Powell, though the forward told Chairman David Sharpe to reject offers for his services – he wants to be a Wigan Athletic player.