What a week for the Latics, a trouncing of Port Vale, our centre forward grabbing a hat-trick, promotion rivals all losing on Saturday and, to top it off, a great end to the current transfer window.
Late last week the club announced two new signings, Ryan Colclough from Crewe and Sam Morsy the Chesterfield captain. Two young guns with bags of potential, both were signed in time to make their debuts in the home clash with Port Vale too.
On a bitterly cold day the performance of the Latics was enough to warm the cockles of our hearts, a great display had Port Vale on the back foot from the off, we simply blew them out of the way, 22 attempts on goal, the only surprise in the game was that we took just three of those chances.
Will Grigg was the hero of the hour with a fine hat-trick, a near post flick, a cool penalty after he had been rugby tackled in the area and a sublime finish with 20 minutes of the game remaining. Grigg looks like a striker on fire and he could yet get those elusive 20 goals in a season that we haven’t seen at the Latics since the days of the Ellington/Roberts partnership.
Colclough and Morsy both came on as subs to make their debuts, with the Latics three goals to the good and coasting it was an easy introduction for them both, but even so it must be said that they looked quality and they promise to bring another edge to our game.
Of course Colclough and Morsy weren’t the only piece of activity in the final stages of the transfer window, Jordy Hiwula was recalled by Huddersfield and we moved quickly to replace him with Everton striker Conor McAleny, but the most impressive business from the club over the weekend and into Monday was the announcement of three departures.
Rich O’Donnell’s loan to Bristol City was made a permanent transfer, it’s fair to say that the shot-stopper hasn’t had the best of times at the Latics since coming in during the summer, Don Cowie was released from his contract and so freeing up some room on the pay role, but the biggest cheer amongst the Latics fraternity was the announcement that Grant Holt had left the club by mutual consent.
Whatever your thoughts on Holt, the one thing that couldn’t be argued with was the fact that his wages were a drain on the clubs resources, also there was a massive imbalance between those wages and what he actually brought to the team during his time here, virtually nothing. A signing that promised so much when made, turned out to be a complete and utter disaster and it is with relief that his time with us is now consigned to the Latics history books.
So a club bouncing with excitement, going into the final third of the campaign, off to Sheffield United on Saturday, oh how another three points to bring home from Bramhall Lane would do nicely, we’re still on course for my prediction to be in the top two by the end of this month, once there we won’t be shifted either.
Up the tics!
Check out the latest PWU Podcast – Higher and Higher
Well what can we say following on from what was a great week for the Latics, a superb performance against Port Vale, a 3-0 win and some excellent business, in and out, in the transfer market.
Will Grigg notched his first hat-trick for the club at the weekend, Burton, Gillingham and Coventry all lost, we are now looking good for an automatic spot come the end of the season.
Transfer business concluded, O’Donnell, plus big earners Holt and Cowie leave the club, whilst hot prospects Sam Morsy and Ryan Colclough arrive.
Latics youngsters were unfortunate on Tuesday to lose against Man City in the FA youth cup 3rd round, the game went to extra time and could have gone either way, a super performance that bodes well for the future.
We are off to Sheffield United on Saturday, still smarting after letting a three goal lead slip just three weeks ago the Latics will want to get maximum points here to make up for that dreadful last 15 minutes at the DW.
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