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Wigan’s new man Grant Holt can fire them straight back into the Premier League

by Josh Powell | July 28, 2013
A BOLT FROM HOLT: Striker Grant Holt can make the difference as Wigan look to bounce back to the top flight

A BOLT FROM HOLT: Striker Grant Holt can make the difference as Wigan look to bounce back to the top flight

Championship previews | Sheffield Wednesday

Real Championship football fans give the Paddy Power Blog their honest previews for the new season. Paul Farrington from looks forward to a quick return to top flight football.

State of play: Last season was historic for Wigan Athletic as we firmly established our place in history by lifting the World’s most prestigious domestic cup competition trophy at Wembley. The memories of that day will never fade in the memories of the supporters who were present that day.

On the flip side of our rollercoaster season was the relegation from the Premier League following our eight season stay in the top flight.

The upshot of the above has been a turbulent summer that has seen our manager jump ship to Everton and a host of players both leave and join the club.

How’s the gaffer? The appointment of Owen Coyle to replace the hugely popular Martinez, following the Spaniard’s departure, was met with a mixed response initially by supporters. However in true Wigan Athletic fashion we have all rallied and now give the former Bolton and Burnley boss our full support.

Coyle has already made some very supporter friendly acquisitions with new strikers Marc Antoine Fortune and Grant Holt in particular grabbing the headlines.

Perhaps most impressive of all Coyle’s work over the summer has been to come in a quickly settle a rocking ship. The departure of Martinez was not easy to cope with but Coyle has already won over the supporters and acted quickly to implement a settled first team ahead of the new season.

Terrace hero: He may be 32 years-old but Cumbrian Grant Holt has been a hugely popular acquisition amongst supporters ahead of our assault on the Championship. The former Norwich and Shrewsbury man has a terrific goalscoring record at all levels and the fact that he formerly worked as a tyre fitter gives him a ‘man of the people’ appeal.

Teamed up with fellow 32 year-old striker Marc Antoine Fortune the pair could well prove to be astute additions by Coyle, especially when added to our already outstanding attacking talent of Callum McManaman, Shaun Maloney, and Nouha Dicko.

Big-time Charlie: Fortunately he left after his contract expired and he wanted to chase bigger and better things. Franco di Santo had one half decent season with the club but still has a very poor goalscoring record. He couldn’t hit a barn door with a banjo but somehow earned his first international cap coming on for Argentina as a substitute for non-other than Lionel Messi. He appears on the surface to be grossly over-rated.

Worst away ground in the Championship and why? It’s been eight years since we last faced many of the teams in the Championship so our supporters are excited to be visiting the homes of teams we faced on our way up the football table. Local neighbours, Bolton, and their collapsing tent stadium that isn’t even located in the town of Bolton is a dive. Burnley’s, Turf Moor is also up there with its toilet seats in the director’s box.

Which Championship side have the best away fans? As with the grounds we’re ready to be impressed by away fans. Premier League away fans are all a little too much prawn sandwiches for our liking so we’re looking forward to vocal battles with travelling supporters at the DW Stadium. Our local rivals Bolton, Blackburn, Blackpool, and Burnley in particular should lead to some particularly fun battles that we’re all looking forward to.

Who is your dream Championship signing? He was over-priced for a Championship striker but Jordon Rhodes’ goalscoring stats are top class and he boasts the sort of record that will propel a good side to the top flight. Hopefully our very own Grant Holt can offer the same return this season to shoot us back to the Premier League.

What is your best terrace chant? Our time in the top flight has certainly not affected our egos. We’re still a very modest bunch and we’re never more proud than to let everyone know…

‘We’ve won it two times, we’ve won it two times…The Auto Windscreens, we’ve won it two times!’


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