Wigan hit rock bottom while Aussie investors line up takeover bid
- Wigan now bottom of League One after two narrow defeats in two games
- Manager Leam Richardson linked with a move to Ipswich Town
- Australian consortium lining up takeover bid
Back-to-back defeats have left unlucky Wigan bottom of League One while speculation mounts about the future of manager Leam Richardson.
The Latics were narrowly defeated by Charlton at the DW Stadium on Tuesday night with Chuks Aneke scoring the only goal for the visitors.
The striker pounced on a defensive mix up between Curtis Tilt and Tendayi Darikwa to slot the ball past Jamie Jones on 19 minutes.
The Latics had a few chances with Joe Dodoo heading just wide early on and Alex Perry firing straight at Ben Amos in the second half.
Wigan were on the front foot for the majority of the game but a lack of creativity in the final third meant they failed to threaten the Charlton goal.
Manager Leam Richardson felt his side produced a lot of effort and fight but one mistake cost Wigan at least a point against Charlton. Richardson said:
“I’m disappointed as I don’t think there was much in the game. We huffed and puffed and we had large portions of possession but one mistake decided the game which is disappointing from our part.”
“We got in some good areas and controlled the second half without looking a massive threat. With games as they are coming up, we have to turn these performances into results. If we don’t play well enough, then don’t lose – and when we do play well like we have these past few games then we need to turn them into wins.”
The Latics’ cause wasn’t helped by losing Will Keane in the warm-up whilst fellow in-form forward Callum Lang missed out with a calf injury. Richardson hopes both will miss only days rather than weeks of action as the relegation alarm bells begin to sound.
“Will Keane felt his groin in the warm up from the previous game and it’s tough for us with the small numbers.
“Callum tweaked his calf on Saturday and again these fixture lists for a small group like ours are tough and demanding for any type of squad.”
Caretaker boss Leam Richardson hasn’t ruled out joining Paul Cook at Ipswich, but says “there is a job to be done” at Wigan Athletic.#WAFC #ITFC pic.twitter.com/4DAehErqLQ
— BBC RM Sport (@BBCRMsport) March 2, 2021
Off the pitch Richardson has been linked with a move to Ipswich Town and the vacant assistant manager role there. Former Wigan boss Paul Cook has been recently appointed manager there and the move would reunite a long-running partnership. Richardson was Cook’s assistant at Accrington Stanley, Chesterfield, Portsmouth and Wigan, and stepped into Cook’s shoes in August as caretaker boss.
Speaking to BBC Radio Manchester Richardson hasn’t shut the door on a move to Portman Road but insisted there is a job to still be done at the DW Stadium this season.
Richardson said “He’s (Cook) never stopped being on the phone and is very conscious of the situation here. He’s always there for advice or his own thoughts on things. That hasn’t changed and everybody has seen my commitment to Wigan at the minute. I think there’s a job to be done.”
Wigan also tasted defeat on Saturday as they were defeated late on at Peterborough.
The Latics took the lead with a sensational Thelo Aasgaard goal straight from a corner after catching Posh goalkeeper Christy Pym out in the 72nd minute, but Peterborough responded brilliantly to turn the game around, scoring twice in three minutes. Jonson Clarke-Harris turned in a cross from close range to equalise before slotting away a penalty after Wigan defender Tendayi Darikwa clumsily up-ended Siriki Dembele.
The two defeats leave Latics bottom of the league and in a real relegation fight, with Rochdale and Northampton as the bottom three and separated by two points. Four points separate the bottom seven clubs though AFC AFC Wimbledon have two games in hand and Bristol Rovers in 20th position have a game extra to play.
Relegation is now a real worry for Wigan as on average sides have needed around 50 points in order to survive in League One. That means Wigan would need to take around 23 points from the remaining 39 available. If Richardson’s team can find their form at a crucial moment they may yet escape.
Wigan are running out of time in their search for a new owner however a consortium of Australian investors claim to have launched a takeover bid. The group are fronted by Sydney investment fund RDR Investment Partners.
According to the Australian Associated Press they see an opportunity to provide a stepping stone into Europe for young Australian talent to make their way into the big leagues.
“We are interested in purchasing Wigan and put our hat in the ring,” RDR managing partner Daniel Hallami told AAP.