If you'd have taken a straw poll of Wigan Athletic fans at the start of the season whether they'd have settled for a spot outside the bottom three and a place in the Carling Cup Quarter Final come November, chances are most would have bitten your hands off.
And if you'd have asked that same question after the first two matches of the season, those infamous home reverses against Blackpool and Chelsea, most fans would have looked at you as though you were discussing the possibility of life on another planet.
But quietly and with the minimum of fuss, Roberto Martinez and the lads have played themselves into exactly that position, and with approximately a quarter of the season gone (my, that went fast) Wigan's report card must read 'A Steady Improvement'.
Sure, there have been some disappointing results, Saturday's showing against Fulham being a case in point, but the overall trajectory is up and up.
The Latics' mid-season report card however, cannot ignore the glaring statistics which must stare Martinez in the face every time he looks at the Premier League table. The goal difference column.
Wigan's -11 is the joint worst in the division, along with West Ham. This is thanks, in no small part, to the ten early season goals shipped to Blackpool and Chelsea , but the fact Wigan have only scored 11 goals in ten matches hardly helps. In this area, Wigan aren't so much a 'Could Do Better' as a 'Cause for Concern.'
This must start to change. Ideally, beginning on Saturday, in the Lancashire derby and relegation six-pointer against Blackburn, who proved unlucky in their last outing against the Premier League pace-setters Chelsea.
Martinez will be looking for Charles N'Zogbia and Jordi Gomez to continue their current good form, and must also be hoping that summer signing Mauro Boselli, who recorded his first goal in the last round of the Carling Cup, starts to find his feet in England.
Disclaimer: The views in this article are that of the writer and may not replicate those of the Professional Footballers' Association.
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