View From A Wigan Fan
At the start of the season what games were you looking forward to most. Was Blackburn Rovers one seeing as it is a derby?
Chelsea, Arsenal and Manchester United were the games I looked out for straight away. Blackburn didn't mean a lot to me because, despite being a lifelong Latic, I'm not from Wigan so some of the 'local' rivalries like Preston and Blackburn aren't as important to me.
How good is Paul Jewell as a manager and does it worry you now Newcastle and England are looking at taking him?
I think he's a fantastic manager. To get both Bradford and Wigan to the Premiership and keep them there is a magnificent feat. PJ has said he doesn't want the England job, I'm sure we wouldn't see him for dust if Liverpool wanted him but apart from them there's only Man Utd, Chelsea or Arsenal that would tempt him I think.
Many people expected Dave Whelan to splash the cash when you guys got into the Premiership but instead you have made some of the best bargain buys who would you say was the best value for money?
Of the current players, Jimmy Bullard £275,000 from Peterborough in January
2003. Hasn't missed a league game since and must be worth millions now. Of this season's newcomers, Pascal Chimbonda £500,000 from Bastia. Did so well he got an improved contract within months.
Chairman Dave Whelan is one of the more outspoken in the Premiership. He seems to have a view on everything. What do you make of this? Do you think he should learn to keep quiet sometimes?
I think he always has been outspoken, it's just that more people listen now. It doesn't really bother me.
Realistically what did you want out of your first season in the Premiership and what do you think you can achieve now?
I wanted to stay up, 17th place would have been great. Now I think we have an outside chance of Europe, provided we win on Monday of course.
Many Rovers fans feel playing on the Monday night will be a disadvantage physiologically over our rivals what’s your view on this?
I've forgotten what Saturday 3:00pm kick-offs look like, it's not as bad as the reverse fixture at the JJB when you had the rest due to the undersoil heating 'failure'.
How are attendances this year at the JJB and can we expect a noisy travelling support from Wigan Athletic?
Better than Blackburn's! We average just under 21,000 as opposed to your 20,000. Idon't know if Blackburn attendances have dropped. I know there were a lot of people who supported Blackburn as their 'Big' team and Wigan as their 'Little' team, perhaps they have had to make a choice and some have
plumped for Wigan. The Latics away support is always quite vocal.
In terms of the Rovers eleven who do you fear most?
We fear nobody!
Who should Blackburn watch out for from the Wigan team?
Roberts and Camara can tear defences apart with their pace. We have the 3rd best away record in the Premiership, behind Man Utd and Chelsea. We do better when teams come at us and leave themselves open at the back.
What is your prediction for Monday’s game?
1-0 to us, David Thompson scores a last-minute winner from a long kick upfield by Filan.