Can we catch Wigan ?

Charlton's fixture against Wigan on Tuesday evening doesn't exactly set the pulse racing. Before Saturday's games the two teams were in thirteenth and sixteenth place with little apparently to play for but pride.

However, it isn't that long ago that supporters were fearing for the future of both clubs, so perhaps we should simply celebrate the fact that they are both still alive and kicking and that the game is taking place.

While Thomas Sandgaard's arrival in 2020 put Charlton's finances on a more stable footing, Wigan's tribulations continued until June last year. The club were served a winding-up petition because of unpaid tax bills but local businessman Mike Danson, who also owns a 25% share in Super League club Wigan Warriors, stepped in to buy the football club at the eleventh hour.

"I am delighted to become involved in Wigan Athletic Football Club. I was born in Wigan, I grew up locally and the community of the town is close to my heart" he said. "I want to recognise that the club has a hugely important part to play in the local community, not just for players, but for fans, employees and all its suppliers, business partners and numerous community groups."

He stayed loyal to manager Shaun Maloney who, not surprisingly, had been unable to keep the club from relegation from The Championship and the team began this season on minus eight points along with a transfer embargo as punishment for failing to pay players. By the middle of August they had wiped out that deficit with impressive away wins at Derby (2-1) and Bolton (4-0). Since then their progress has been uneven but Maloney is delighted with their progress given all the uncertainty and shenanigans under the previous regime.

Despite loaning striker Charlie Wyke to Rotherham in January, Wigan have some impressive power up front. While they were in The Championship they loaned Stephen Humphrys to Hearts but now he is back at this level and has scored ten goals this season including the rocket shot that brought his team back to 2-3 against us last October at the DW stadium. The other goal was netted by Thelo Aasgaard who has nine so far and Josh Magennis has scored five. Sean Clare has chipped in with one.

Their recent away form has been typically unpredictable. In February they went to Peterborough and won 3-2 and to Shrewsbury for a 1-0 win. Since then, however, they have lost 2-4 at Fleetwood, 0-1 at Wycombe and 1-3 last time out at Cambridge. Maybe there is a bit of end of season complacency creeping in?

Wigan are one of the clubs that we might have a chance of overtaking in our quest to avoid our lowest final position for ninety eight years.  Hopefully ex-Charlton defenders Sean Clare and Steven Sessegnon won’t get the chance to show their scoring abilities at the Valley again as three points on Tuesday evening would give us a fighting chance with Wigan still having to travel to Portsmouth and Lincoln.