Dave Whelan insists Uwe Rosler remains the right man to lead Wigan Athletic, despite the former FA Cup holders sitting in the bottom three of the Championship.
That famous afternoon at Wembley, when they defeated Manchester City to lift the most famous trophy in club football, must seem longer than 18 months ago to the Latics fans. Their team were relegated from the Premier League just days after that unlikely triumph, which was followed by Roberto Martinez’s decision to quit the club and return to the top-flight with Everton.
The Spaniard was replaced with Owen Coyle, who appeared to be the perfect fit, but the former Bolton Wanderers boss left in December last year following a poor run of results which left the club in 14th position in the second-tier, and he was succeeded by Rosler. The former Brentford boss was a hugely popular appointment, and he led them to a fifth place finish.
Despite Queens Park Rangers defeating the DW Stadium side in the semi-finals of the playoffs, hopes were high that a promotion charge could be launched this term. But a 3-1 defeat at Bolton on Friday night leaves them in the bottom three of the table after 17 matches. However, Whelan has publicly backed Rosler to turn things around and has urged the players to up their game.
“A good manager doesn’t become a bad manager overnight, and Uwe Rosler is a good manager,” he told the Wigan Evening Post. “There is no question over his ability. He’s solid. He’s just not getting enough from the players at the moment. I told him I was 100 per cent behind him. He needs support from everyone, and he will get it. The players need to pull their fingers out and give it everything.”
The same publication, incidentally, ran a poll on Tuesday to ask if Whelan was right to continue to support Rosler and, damningly, 67 percent of fans replied in the negative. The international break means the Latics will have to wait until a week Saturday for the next chance to get their season back on track, when third-place Middlesbrough travel to the North West.