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Match Previews

Match Preview: Wigan Athletic v Morecambe

18 March 2022

The Shrimps are on the road again as they take on Wigan Athletic at the DW Stadium on Saturday 19 March.

Derek Adams’ side are ready to bounce back after a 5-0 defeat to Shrewsbury Town on Tuesday night. Two goals each from Daniel Udoh and Luke Leahy, and one from Ryan Bowman gave the Shrews all three points.

The Shrimps last met Wigan Athletic at the start of the year, an early opener from Cole Stockton was equalised by Will Keane just before the break, and a second goal from Stephen Humphrys in the 73rd minute was enough for the Lactics to secure the win.

The Opposition

Wigan are currently sat in second place in the table and will look to take advantage of one of their games in hand on Saturday. They come into the clash on mixed form, having three wins, one draw and one loss, including a match against Sutton United in the Football League Trophy.

Their last league match was away at the Mornflake Stadium, where goals from Josh Magennis and Will Keane secured a 2-0 win against strugglers Crewe Alexandra.

Yorkshire born manager Leam Richardson started his career in the youth set up at Blackburn Rovers and went on to play for Bolton Wanderers, Notts County, and Blackpool. The right-back signed for Accrington Stanley in 2005, where he spent the rest of his playing career before being appointed Caretaker Manager until Paul Cook arrived a month later. Richardson had a second spell as caretaker boss and was then appointed permanent Manager before joining Paul Cook as Assistant Manager at Chesterfield.

The pair later spent time at Portsmouth, winning promotion to League One in 2017, before arriving at Wigan where he guided the Latics to promotion to the Championship. They remained there for two years, but fell into administration and were relegated after being handed a twelve point deduction.

Cook resigned and, after John Sheridan spent a short spell in charge, Richardson was appointed permanent Manager in April 2021.

Key Players 

Will Keane is top scorer for the Lactics so far this season with 18 goals to his name. Keane began his senior career with Manchester United, having joined their youth academy at 11 years old alongside brother Michael Keane. During his time there, he enjoyed spells on loan at Wigan Athletic, QPR, Sheffield Wednesday, and Preston North End. The striker went on to play fir Hull City and Ipswich Town, before heading back to the Lactics. He originally joined them on a short term contract, but in June 2021, Keane signed for a further two years. The 29-year-old has also made appearances for England at U16 and U20 level, and was capped for the Republic of Ireland senior squad last year in a World Cup Qualifier.

Tom Naylor started out at League Two side Mansfield Town aged 17. Despite gaining the attention and offers from clubs in League One, the Championship and Premier League, Naylor signed for Derby County following a brief stint on loan with the Rams. During his time there, he spent time loan at clubs such as Bradford City, Newport County, and Burton Albion. The 30-year-old went on to sign for the Brewers on a permanent basis and went on to sign for Portsmouth before arriving at the DW Stadium in June 2021.

Curtis Tilt was signed to the Lactics in the January transfer window on a permanent basis, having spent two years on loan from fellow League One club Rotherham United. Tilt was spotted at Gornal Athletic in 2012 where he began his career, and went on to play for other semi-professional clubs before joining National League side Wrexham. The defender spent time at Blackpool, where he made 99 appearances before he moved to Rotherham in 2020. Tilt also received his first call up for national team Jamaica last year.

Pre-Match Thoughts 

Despite a tricky spell for the Shrimps, manager Derek Adams has called for positivity. 

“We have to remain positive, we have to pick up wins and I have spoken a lot about that since I’ve come in, we’ve nearly got there on a couple of occasions against Ipswich and Bolton but not quite,” he said.

“I think the players kept on going on Tuesday night and had to deal with some huge set-backs in the game, conceding just before half-time and at the start of the second-half. 

“When you are down at the bottom of the league, they can be big set-backs, the kept on going, kept on pushing until the end of the game and you just have to make sure you stay in the game.” 

Meet the Officials

James Oldham will be the man in the middle on Saturday, and will be assisted by linesmen Graeme Fyvie and Billy Smallwood with Simon Mather completing the line-up as Fourth Official.

The Mancunian has taken charge of 24 games since August 2021 and has handed out 91 yellow cards and three red cards.

Mather has refereed in League One, League Two, the FA Cup, the Football League Trophy and the EFL Cup so far this season. He has officiated a handful of Morecambe matches, the last being their 2-0 defeat against Rotherham last month. 

Don’t miss a kick with our iFollow coverage

After teaming up with Beyond Radio for the 2021/22 season, supporters will be able to listen to exclusive, full and uninterrupted radio commentary of every single game, home and away, which will be broadcast simultaneously on 103.5FM, 107.5FM and DAB+ digital radio across North Lancashire and South Cumbria as well as on the iFollow Shrimps platform.
Joining host Dave Salmon is the special guest Abi Rodwell, audio passes are available from as little as £2.50 per match, £4.49 for a monthly pass or £45 for a season pass.
As well as full match commentary, the ‘Shrimps Verdict’ podcast will be available post-match, featuring online, on demand content, including audio match highlights, post-match interviews and reaction, and much more!

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