Wigan Athletic have sacked manager Uwe Rosler, just days after Dave Whelan insisted the German was safe in the DW Stadium dugout.
The former Manchester City striker was appointed as Owen Coyle’s successor last season, and led the Latics from 14th place into the Championship playoffs where they lost to eventual Wembley victors Queens Park Rangers. This raised optimism that the Lancashire side could build on this improvement this term, but they made an awful start and currently sit in the relegation zone.
This has inevitably heaped the pressure on Rosler, with a recent poll undertaken in a local newspaper indicating 67% of supporters were keen on a change of manager. This came after Whelan came out in support of the former Brentford coach, telling the same publication: “He needs support from everyone, and he will get it. The players need to pull their fingers out and give it everything.”
Despite these words, the Latics chairman has now performed a stunning u-turn and dismissed Rosler. Whelan has naturally pointed to their recent poor run of results – they have won just once in the last dozen matches – for making this decision, although he still feels the 45-year-old remains a good coach, but he feels a change was necessary if they are to get their season back on track.
“I still regard Uwe as a really good manager but we’ve played 17 games, won three and are in the bottom three,” he told Sky Sports HQ. “At times like this, you need to make difficult decisions and today has been a very difficult day for me because I really respect him and he’s a really good manager – he’s just had some bad luck. Sometimes you have to make decisions that are painful but necessary.
“Whoever takes Uwe as their next manager, they’ve got a good lad. I’m sorry to lose him but in the circumstances, I had no other choice to make. We had to change the manager – we do not want to go down another division. I’m Wigan through and through and I have to protect the club. He’s a gentleman. He accepted what I was saying and took it straight on the chin. He said ‘I respect what you’re doing, I know we’ve been going through a difficult time’.”
Although Whelan went on to insist he had nobody lined up to replace Rosler, it is widely thought that Malky Mackay is next in line. The 42-year-old has been considered for a number of jobs since he was sacked by Cardiff City last December, and is thought to be determined to rebuild a reputation which has took something of a battering in recent months.