Writer: Mike Field
Date:Thursday May 16 2013
Final game of the season, Stan Petrov Day, and only pride to play for as we're already safe - yippee. How is our friendly Vital Wiganer feeling...
With thanks to Worbo from Vital Wigan.
1) You've finally not beaten the drop after years of your famed end of season form. How are the fans reacting to the news and what do you feel this will mean for the club going forward?
Disappointment but with optimism at the same time, not that it was inevitable but I don`t feel it was a massive shock with the team carrying the amount of injuries to key defenders for the majority of the season, and there in lay the problem, the defending.
As for going forward, so long as we can keep the majority of the squad together I don`t see why we can`t get straight back, we played Forest, Huddersfield and Millwall in the cups last season and battered them all, hopefully that`s a gauge of what is to come, not saying it will be easy but we must start as one of the favourites, well in my mind at least ;)
2) Roberto Martinez, do you expect him to be at the club next season or is he odds on for the Everton job?
Yes he`ll stay, I hope, if Villa and Liverpool weren`t the clubs to tempt him away then I can`t see Everton being the one!
3) What stands out from the season, highlights and lowlights wise? I'm imagining lifting the Cup has somewhat softened the season for you?
FA Cup and relegation in a nutshell, the final was THE greatest day of my life, no question at all, I have never felt emotions like that, simply breathtaking.
As for the low, the defeat by Swansea at home the Tuesday before the cup final, I swear the Swans wanted us to win, it was embarrassing how little they weren`t trying yet we give them three goals and sealed our own fate, that was the day that we really got relegated.
4) Quite a few players have stood out to non Wigan fans like McManaman, and for Villans Maloney looks a different player. Are you hopeful of keeping the team together or are there players you know you will lose now?
There will obviously be some on the move but Maloney has stated that he`s never been happier at a club and why should he move, that is just what the fans wanted to hear, McManaman has only just signed a new three year deal, plus, although he`s been fantastic he has only broken into the first team since March and I think he needs to show it isn`t a flash in the pan.
5) Who is going to be your main dangerman when we play?
Shaun Maloney I`d think, he has been class all season, Koné is also good, big, powerful; and pacey.
6) How will Wigan end the season? Will you look to youngsters for next season, or go out on a high looking to try and thump us?
I feel it might be a bit of an exhibition match, the team owe the fans a great performance at the DW where we have been quite poor on the whole this season.
7) Will you have anyone out who would otherwise play?
McManaman, Ramis, Beausejour, Figueroa, Stam, all injured.
Now with a slightly more Claret and Blue angle...
8) Have Villa performed how you expected during the season and had Arsenal not happened, what were your thoughts on survival going down to our game against you?
I always felt Villa were our main rivals for that last spot on the relegation podium, you`re like us, all the promise of a good side, just weak at the back with individual errors costing, I don`t think my nerves could have stood a last day shoot out, but I was hoping a couple of weeks back that we could have conspired a draw to send either Sunderland or Newcastle down, wasn`t to be though.
9) Do you have any thoughts on Paul Lambert?
He seems ok, changing the squad round like he has done takes time, luckily he`s avoided the drop this season, now he must push on next.
10) What have you made of our youth promotions last/this season, anybody caught the eye for you?
I like the looks of Lowton, but young players can be up and down, hopefully with a season under their belts next campaign they will have grown a little more in stature.
11) Who has stood out most from our summer signings for you?
Erm surely it has to be Benteke, fantastic striker.
12) If you could take one of our players, who would it be and why?
Charlie, we miss him.
13) Who do you see as our main threat in the game?
No one really, I`m just looking forward to an entertaining game of football.
14) Finally, a prediction please kind person?
Like I said previously I think this will be almost like an exhibition game, going for a 3-3 draw and a brilliant atmosphere...and we are hoping to join in your Petrov tribute as well.
As he asked nicely, here's a link to Vital Wigan's Pre Game Podcast covering the Arsenal game, the Cup Final and the game to be known as 'Stan Petrov Day'.
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Date:Thursday May 16 2013
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