Wigan v Pompey: The Opposition View

Wigan's Michael Jacobs, left. Picture: Jonathan Gawthorpe
Wigan's Michael Jacobs, left. Picture: Jonathan Gawthorpe
Matt Clarke has found himself back in familiar surroundings in the centre of defence in recent weeks  Picture: Joe Pepler

Back home – but Pompey defender would switch back

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Paul Cook has said there’s no sentiment about this weekend whatsoever.

He’s saying it’s just another game but, of course, there’s going to be an edge to facing his former club so soon after leaving.

Leam Richardson has been a bit more open about it, saying it is an important game. He said they still have a lot of friends at the club and spent a couple of good years there.

Leam did tone it down a bit saying it’s just three points, but you could tell talking to him he was up for it.

The fans are wondering if it’s going to be a bit spicy.

I think they are expecting Portsmouth to come along and try to prove a point.

There’s credence to that extent because the supporters feel Portsmouth fans will think Cookie shouldn’t have left.

They, with their Wigan hats on, are thinking it’s going to be a fairly comfortable home win. It’s a team coming down from the Championship against a side coming up from League Two, so I dare say that’s part of their thinking.

Wigan are still riding the high of being top of the table and bookies’ favourites for the title. Having said that, Cookie doesn’t like it if you mention it, though.

Pompey, obviously, only went top after the last game and he’s wary of that. The fans aren’t bothered, though, and are embracing the start.

The wins are a direct consequence of how Cookie has put his stamp on the team.

Michael Jacobs is the man to watch our for. He’s Mr Consistent for Wigan.

Last season he was the star man every week and it’s got a bit boring because it’s the same so far this season. He’s been a machine.

It’ll be good to see Nick Powell get back to scoring because he missed one against Oldham last weekend. He’s one to watch, because he’s a player who normally gets a few goals.

Ivan Toney has been a good addition and the fans have been pretty happy with him.

Keeper Christian Walton’s not had much to do. He’s dealt with everything thrown at him so far and it’s been a pretty comfortable start to his Wigan career.

Despite the 100-per-cent record going at Aston Villa, there was probably more positives than negatives to come out of the defeat.

They played well and got people like Will Grigg more minutes on the pitch against a Championship side.

On top of that, there were academy players making the breakthrough so I don’t think the defeat was a worry.

Now there’s the juicy match against Portsmouth to look forward to.