With the big local derby between Bolton Wanderers and Wigan Athletic looming just around the corner, I talked Wigan fan and All Gone Latics fanzine write, Dan Rodenby, about the upcoming game and all of Wigan's sensational failings this season.
1) Have you found Wigan's season as hilarious as we have?
No, more embarrassing than funny. However, at points this season, it's been better to just laugh rather than get angry.
2) A few years ago you won the FA Cup, now you're staring down the barrel of relegation. What the fuck happened?
It would be impossible to list every reason. The biggest was replacing Roberto Martinez with Owen Coyle, not that I think Coyle did a particularly bad job. We just needed someone to continue the same style Martinez had us playing, so we should have appointed a Zola/Rosler type manager from the offset, in my opinion. Another big reason is simply the quality of players we had: Kone, McManaman, Maloney. All playing at their best in the FA Cup winning season, now we've got Marc-Antoine Fortune. Says it all. At least we won the cup though 'ey?
3) Your devoted hero and the undisputed king of PR, Dave Whelan, recently stepped down from his role as chairman. How will you cope without him?
He broke his leg in an FA Cup final, y'know? In all seriousness, I'm not sure, massive risk handing the club to Sharpe.
4) Speaking of which, are you worried about the fact that your new chairman couldn't run a chippy, never mind a football club?
Yes, very. Now he's backed Mackay and said he's the long term manager, I'm even more scared.
5) If you go down, do you fear another relegation the year after?
No, we have money from sales in January, and will have to sell a lot off in the summer. So, we should be able to build a decent squad and hopefully come straight back up. However, if we keep Mackay I wouldn't be too sure about us coming up.
6) Will you shut down your stadium down in that case and move to somewhere more suitable, like Robin Park field?
Hopefully yeah, we never win at the DW anyway.
7) Despite your position, you've had somewhat of a mini-renausaunce of late, why is that?
Honestly, thought a few decent signings form Mackay. But Mackay has been bailed out by a few moments of quality in the games we have won, we never play well - just managed to grind out a few lucky results lately. At home we're dreadful, never look a threat going forward and we concede goals on the counter every single home game.
8) Who are these decent signings?
The best two signings have been Kim Bo-Kyung and Harry Maguire, without a doubt Kim is very skilful and scored a few important goals. Maguire, on loan from Hull City, has been an absolute rock at the back the last few weeks. Jason Pearce, Gaetan Bong and Jermaine Pennant are all also starting to settle in and improve the team now too. We've definitely improved with the new signings, but we're still not great by any means.
9) Who is the danger man who Bolton must keep contained on Saturday?
Nobody really. If I had to say someone, Kim Bo-Kyung. Kim has the quality to open up teams. He plays between the lines, is very skilful on the ball, can pick a pass, and has a good strike on him. He had bigger offers than Wigan, but he wanted to work under Mackay again. He's been a big positive of a very poor season, so far.
10) What are your favourite memories from Bolton - Wigan games from down the years?
Last seasons 3-2 win. Perfect way to win a derby. Watson penalty, Powell bicycle kick (Me: Which was bloody off-side!). 2-0 at half time. You come out in the second half on top, and drag yourselves back level. You think you're going to win, McManaman, an academy graduate, scores the winner. Amazing. Roster's first game too.
11) Do you consider Bolton to be your biggest rival?
Yes. Blackburn is a decent derby; but Bolton will always be the biggest. Ever since I've supported Wigan it's just always been the most anticipated and talked about fixture. The games always seem to be pretty eventful too, so yeah, definitely Bolton.
12) Owen Coyle has obviously managed the both of us. We had a very good spell before the shite hit the fan, so why did a good spell never happen at Wigan?
Was never ever going to work out because of the Bolton connection. Didn't do a bad job, signed some good players for us, wasn't doing bad in Europe League or Championship. Think he would have done well, given time and when we went out of the Europa League; but a few bad losses and fans wanted him out. Was a harsh sacking, MacKay has got a much worse record and he's still in the job.
13) Talking about Malky McKay, he's is a bit of a controversial figure and not a very good manager. Do you want him sacked?
Yes. 100%. Mackay's home record for us has been inexcusable in my opinion. We have been unlucky at times and we do lack a goal scorer, yes, but some of the teams we've lost to at home is embarrassing. They come for a point and somehow leave with all three. Mackay has persisted with Fortune, despite him only scoring one goal all season. Also the general shape and tactics are far too negative at the DW. The worst part is Mackay seems to think we're playing well at home, even though we haven't scored in the last four home games we've been "absolutely terrific" on a number of occasions. Away results have been good, we've won the last four on the bounce, but I do believe he's had a massive degree of luck in those wins. Very few fans actually like him, if we are going to move forward, we need someone who the fans believe in and can all get behind.
14) What are Wigan's weaknesses and, if any, strengths?
Weakness: Fortune. We have no attacking threat. If we go 0-1 down it's game over. There's a lack of pace in our team. Just a load of shit players in general.
Strengths: If we manage to grab a luck goal, we're pretty good at defending one goal leads.
15) Do you think you'll escape relegation?
No chance at all. Simply because of our home form, we haven't won at the DW since August! We can't rely on lucky away results to keep us up. Mackay is reluctant to change the team, and I just can't see us winning enough games with his tactics and team selections.
16) What is your prediction for Saturday's game?
We have a terrible home record, you have a bad away record. There's not much quality in either side, so 0-0, or 1-0 to you lot.
You can follow Dan on Twitter @DanRodenby and you'll be able to purchase the All Gone Latics fanzine, which I feature in, around the ground prior kick off on Saturday, for £2.