The Latics went into this one on an 8 game unbeaten run and on the back of 2 wins this week, but despite getting the opener early in the second half through Michael Jacobs, a Hanson header got the Bantams a share of the points at the Coral Windows Stadium.
Latics found themselves under a lot of early pressure with about seven consecutive corners in the space of a few minutes that we were forced to defend and we held tight. Michael Jacobs was the real threat, running on to through balls from the defence and running at the Bradford goal, causing all sorts of problems for the Bantams’ defence. Latics never really got going in the first half due to Bradford’s physical way and a route one style of play, finding the ball in our final third as a result of long balls from City’s defence. Latics were still trying to apply their style to the game and it looked like it had paid off when Will Grigg ran on to a short pass and finished well, but the flag was raised.
Going into the second half and Latics were on top and just after the 50′ minute mark, substitute, Donald Love intercepted a sloppy pass and teed up, Michael Jacobs to impressively curl into the top corner of the Bradford keeper’s net. Bradford reacted to this and more pressure was applied on the Latics defence (more corners to defend) and an unnecessary back header from a long ball gifted the Bantams their 12th corner of the game and sloppy marking from Leon Barnett allowed Bradford striker to head past obstructed keeper Jaaskelainen to level the score.
The addition of strikers Craig Davies and Grant Holt changed the way we played, aiming to counter Bradford’s physicality, however, no side could find a winner in the end and both teams came away with a point.
Bradford 1-1 Latics
Latics teams of the past would’ve collapsed in a game like that where a lot of the defending was in the air due to the height and strength of the Bradford team, but not this one. I thought Captain, Craig Morgan had his best game in a Wigan shirt time after time commanding the area from corners and heading clear. The team never sat back and invited the pressure either, clever passes to Michael Jacobs equalled by the clever touches allowed Latics to create their chances in a different fashion, running at the defence and testing the keeper which paid off in the second half. The amount of losses we have now turned into draws away from home now is a positive and shows we aren’t collapsing in the different kind of environment like the start of the season.
2) Max Power (No pun)
Midfielder, Max Power has come on leaps and bounds over the last few weeks, scoring on a number of occasions and coming into this game, he had scored in both the two previous games. The partnership between him and veteran Perkins is really coming together in midfield, his attacking side is coupled with the amount of distance he travels in order to win possession for the Latics, he really looks dangerous from far out, having shots fizzling just wide or over in the game against Bradford. Definitely becoming an integral part in the side and these consistent performances can only help him consolidate his position in the centre of midfield.
By permission of Bernard Platt/Wigan Athletic
3) 15 Corners!
It’s been a long time since I have seen a team have so many corners in one game but it didn’t look a coincidence for Bradford. The Bantams offered nothing in open play, with their attacks being stopped if they played down the middle due to the solid performances from our three centre backs, this resulted in dangerous long balls that caused corner after corner for Bradford, and in one instance they must have had about 6/7 corners in a row but we kept them out well. It seems quite a popular way of playing bar a few teams in this league, likely down to the lack of technical ability the players have on the ball which I see as an advantage for us, when we really get at teams as shown at home and away so far this season, teams find it very hard to stop us.
Richard Clark was appointed as the referee for the clash between the Latics and the Bantams and wasn’t much of a fan favourite amongst the 1,300 travelling Latics support. Giving in to the hostile environment created by the 18,000, 100 quid season ticket holders and constantly giving free kicks and refusing to book players who had fouled time and time again, and let’s not forget the Tom Daley like dive in front of the Wigan fans from Bradford’s number 29 Tony McMahon.
Overall, another poor officiating display.
5) Moving In The Right Direction
Another point, another game without a loss and another push up the Sky Bet League 1 table. We are now 9 games unbeaten and find ourselves in 5th, above previously high flying Bury and odds on favourite for promotion Sheffield United. Things are certainly looking good, we have a team full of quality and one that now refuses to be beaten. Now to start turning more draws into wins and to close the 7 point gap between us and table toppers Gillingham. Gary Caldwell said how we are on the right track in terms of promotion and since the recent meeting with the website and fanzine editors, Latics have risen 5 places and pushed into the play-off places.
Up the ‘tics!
Check out the latest PWU Podcast – Swindon Preview, Bradford Review
This week we start with Adam and his straight off the terrace report on the Bradford game. We discuss the goals, cheating Bradford, contrasting style of play, the referee and some shocking facilities considering we were charged £25 for the privilege of going to Valley Parade.
We debate the FA cup draw, Bury away, not the most lucrative but hey we’ll take it, then there is FC United’s stand on the FA’s decision to move their game with Chesterfield to a Monday night for TV coverage.
Mick delivers his low down on Swindon and we take a look at their recent form, Simon give us the latest odds on the game, plus what the bookies are offering on the Latics to get promoted, down to 8/1 now to finish top of the pile.
Unfortunately, due to a technical error (I don’t know what I am doing!) the final 15 minutes including the predictions haven’t been recorded
The podcast can be listened to by clicking the embedded player below or downloaded to listen at you leisure by visiting www.buzzsprout.com