The Premiership is back, much to the relief of addicts everywhere. While we don't normally converse with Wiganers as a blog policy, we of course have made an exception for SBN's shiny new Wigan blog, Pie Eaters Footie, and Kieran Heapy was kind enough to answer some of our questions on our dear neighbors. So go on, get yourself warmed up for today's match.Despite the fact that the two teams are so close together geographically, the Wigan v. Bolton fixture doesn't have the appeal of the Manchester derby, the Tyne-Wear derby, or the Merseyside derby. Hell, we don't even have an appropriate name for the match. What would you call it and why?
KH: I am really not sure what to call it, many people call it the Lancasterian derby, it isn't the best. Can I answer I don't know? The best really is what we have at the moment, although I'm sure someone can come up with a better one. [Ed note: after asking this question, we have since see it referred to as t'Classico, a name we fully endorse]
Speaking of our little derby not having that same appeal, the score here always seems to be 0-0 or the very rare 1-0. Why does this matchup never seem to have that flare of other famous rivalries?
KH: I'm not sure exactly why it hasn't lived up to the hype of the other rivalries. For me it is a very big deal, I know fans on both sides who see it as there must win. Yet you look at the match and its very diluted and not that fighting aspect like other derbys. I think that comes down to the lack of local players the sides have, if there were more local players I could see it be alot more fierce and competitive match.
Last we saw, there were only 1700 tickets sold to Bolton fans and while we expect a few hundred more fans at the gate, that isn't really a large number. If you could add any promotion to increase away ticket sales, what would it be?
KH: Its hard with what Wigan is, many people not just in England but across the world wouldn't know who Wigan are. That is at the root of the problem, many see us as a small club or a rugby town so don't want to come when the game doesn't matter. Yet under Roberto with out more attractive form of football, then hopefully as the club grows and improves the up take of tickets for both home and away. One thing I would do with games like Bolton, is offer free away tickets to young people like schools and clubs, like we do for home fans, to improve attendance. However Bolton themselves would have to do that.
Who do you expect to get on the score sheet for Wigan, assuming we get that elusive goal?
KH: This is a tricky one, we have a few players who have looked like scoring but only one who has. I could see Moses getting on behind you this weekend and possibly scoring, but Di Santos is in great form, so I could see him grabbing one.
Finally, what's your score prediction and how many pies do you expect to sell?
KH: The actual score is a tough one. With the crowd behind us and the team needing a win, 2-1 to Wigan. Not sure, I can see it being a very close match.
As for the number of pies sold, it usually hits around the 5000 mark, but depends on the weather. Its cold them pies get eaten up.
We did return the favor. To see my answers to Kieran's questions, mosey on over to Pie Eaters Footie.