Escaping a Wiggin

Andy Munro talks about Blues’ draw with Wigan without mentioning pies or casinos.

Blues held on for a hard-won point against the odds at in-form Wigan. This may have done us no favours if you just judge us by league position but it’s a point that could eventually prove vital both in the long and short-term  by keeping our mini-run going and extending the confidence that goes with it.

We kept an unchanged side with the exception of Novak’s workrate replacing Shinnie’s fleeting skills. Mind you, it has to said that, when he’s fit, Novak must be the only player to go into the dressing room and just get changed without bothering to look at the team sheet.

Blues started off well with some great support who had obviously decided that even the town of Wigan was preferable to being dragged around the Bull Ring sales. With a bit of luck, we could have been a couple of goals up by half time and, dare I say it, the team cried out for a Marlon King-type figure up front.

Even so, Randolph, who is becoming an exceptional signing, had to make a couple of smart interventions to deny the home side. The worry is that if you don’t convert your chances they will come back to haunt you and it looked the case as Wigan, undeniably a team with more expensive talent than the Blues, started to turn the screw. A case of a wealthy Wigan against pauper Blues….who would have thought of such a scenario a few years ago? However the flow of the game particularly hinged on what can only be described as a moment of rashness in tackling terms by Jesse Linguard. It was unfortunately red card territory although tellingly the ‘injured’ player underwent a miracle recovery that would have put Lourdes to shame, once the red card had been issued.

Cue extensive pressure from Wigan with Beausejour putting in several crosses (luckily typically wayward) and then going down theatrically and thankfully without reward in the penalty area, presumably as a rehearsal for the World Cup. Blues bravely held out although taking Burke off so early for the fleeting benefits of Shinnie seemed a bit counter-productive, as did taking off our long ball outlet, Ziggy, for the erratic running of the diminutive  McLean.

Overall a great result but the early departure of Burke and the failure yet again to give the on-loan Ferguson a run out, doesn’t augur particularly well for the transfer window movements. Surely we can’t end up as the wingless wonders?