June 18, 2024

Have you ever taken Easter weekend off, only to thoroughly regret doing so when your inbox is piled to the roof on Tuesday morning? Well, that’s the regrettable situation poor Walsall could soon find themselves in.

Owing to tedious international friendly commitments, the Saddlers don’t play at all over Easter – their next game is at Sheffield United on 2 April. And I’m not fooling around when I say Latics could open a significant gap to the chasing contenders by that time.

Would six points from the next two be enough to keep Wigan Athletic stomach-deep in those enticing automatic promotion deck chairs for the remainder of this season?

Would the sight of Max Power nonchalantly sucking a rocket lolly break Walsall’s already brittle resolve? Though they would have two games in hand, one might suggest their arduous task of eight (EIGHT) games in the calendar month of April could be a prohibiting factor.

Certainly, such a gap to third would allow the freedom of expression required of a championship-winning team. Latics’ artistic side has been kept under careful watch of late, only allowed out of the DW’s dark, dingy dungeon for the odd 10-minute spell against Bury or Port Vale.

But by the time Wigan play Burton on 19 April, the gap to be third could be so large that the true, free-flowing and flamboyant Wigan Athletic gains confidence to emerge once more. Who’s to say that game won’t be the title decider? And who’s to say the Renaissance Latics won’t utterly demolish the champions elect?

In other words, these games against Swindon and Rochdale are more significant than you might think. Hypothetically speaking, they could provisionally secure automatic promotion as early as March.

Blackpool on 30 April? Well, that’s just an excuse for a jolly boys’ outing at the amusements. Barnsley on 8 May? Pah, a mere after party.

Right here at Easter weekend is where the season will be decided once and for all. So let’s give Walsall a forest of work to file on the morning of 29 March.

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