Blackburn vs Wigan preview: ‘Blackburn always seem to fear playing us’

The producer and editor of the PWU Podcast and Blog believes struggling Wigan can pick up at least a point against Blackburn as they ‘always seem to fear’ playing them.

Barry Worthington also reckons recently-sacked Kolo Toure should never have been appointed.

Barry Worthington on Twitter

“He should have never been appointed. 

“Chris Wilder was interviewed, Neil Critchley was interviewed, although I didn’t want Critchley myself, and Mick McCarthy, who I also didn’t want, but they are three experienced Championship managers.

“Instead they turned to a complete novice who hasn’t even run youth sides, and the coaches he brought in, I think, are very weak. One of them was 27 years of age and was previously just going around Leicester coaching kids.”

On 28 January, Wigan appointed former player Shaun Maloney as the new First Team Manager, and Worthington sees him as a much better fit than Toure.

“I’m happy with Shaun Maloney because he’s someone who’s made a big impact on the history of Wigan Athletic. He set up the winning goal in the [2013] FA Cup final, he scored when we beat Manchester United once.

Wigan defeat Manchester City in the 2013 FA Cup final

“It’s a good appointment, he’s reconnected the supporters. All I hope is, if we do get relegated, we don’t sack him. I hope he can stay and build a project.”

The Latics currently sit rock-bottom of the Championship table and are four points adrift of safety, although they do have two games in hand on Cardiff City, who hold the final spot above the relegation zone.

With the appointment of Maloney, Worthington is hopeful that his side can stay in the division.

“If we can pick up four wins in the next 10 games before the international break, which is a big ask, I think we’ll have a decent chance of getting out of trouble. If not, well there’s not many teams who are bottom at this time of the year who end up escaping relegation, so let’s hope we can break the mould.”

Ahead of what could be a huge game for both sides, Wigan face a Blackburn team that are just one point outside the playoff positions on Monday, but Worthington doesn’t fear their local opposition.

“I think Blackburn always seem to fear playing us for some reason, we’ve not got a bad record against them at all in recent years.

“We’re a lot better away than we are at home. I could see us picking up at least a point, which would set us up nicely for Huddersfield at home on Saturday.”

Blackburn fan and creator of the Rovers Chat group Daniel Ainsworth isn’t feeling too confident heading into the game.

Daniel Ainsworth on Twitter

“It’ll be a tough game, obviously they’re not in the best run of form but ultimately Rovers are the most up and down side in the league. It depends which Rovers side turns up.”

The Blues and Whites have just one draw all season, with a tendency to immediately follow up a win with a loss.

Ainsworth believes this is due to new manager, Jon Dahl Tomasson, arriving in the summer and currently navigating his way through his first season as boss.

“I think it’s a new manager, a change of styles. We went five and a half years with the same manager which is pretty unheard of now in football. I think it’s a change of fitness levels for the players as well.”

As for Ainsworth’s hopes for the rest of the season, he would like to see his side reach the playoffs but wouldn’t be too disappointed if they didn’t.

“I’d like to be around the playoffs, but I think fans would accept it if we weren’t. We just need to get through February as we’ve had a February slump every season for the past three years.”