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AFC Bournemouth: New boss Rosler reviving Latics' fortunes
IT has been all change at Wigan since the Latics became Cherries’ second Championship scalp in August.
Lewis Grabban’s strike sealed a memorable 1-0 win for Eddie Howe’s men over the FA Cup holders in a stormy clash at Dean Court.
Owen Coyle, who gorged on sour grapes following the reverse, has been replaced as manager by Uwe Rosler and the club’s fortunes have improved markedly.
Coyle relinquished the reins six weeks ago after three defeats in the space of nine days had increased calls for his head from the DW Stadium faithful.
Having been unbeaten in their first 10 home games, a heavy schedule began to take its toll as they went down to Brighton, Zulte Waregem in the Europa League and then Derby.
A lack of goals had also become a concern with the Latics having netted just five in nine games before Rosler took charge for the first time after watching from the stands as they suffered a 2-1 defeat at Millwall.
The German, who presided over Brentford’s promotion near miss last season, became their third manager in six months and was immediately tasked by chairman Dave Whelan with reaching the play-offs.
And the former Manchester City striker, who had spells at Norwegian clubs Lillestrom, Viking and Molde before joining the Bees in June 2011, also needed to win over an expectant fan-base by restoring the style of football that had brought former boss Roberto Martinez such acclaim.
Rosler has certainly wasted no time in reviving their hopes of an immediate return to the Premier League with the Latics currently enjoying a five-match unbeaten run which has included wins over Bolton, Reading and Derby.
The 45-year-old’s only defeat came in his first game at the helm as Wigan’s maiden European adventure ended at the hands of Europa League rivals NK Maribor.
Wigan were the biggest movers on New Year’s Day when their 1-0 win at Pride Park saw them climb three places to 11th as Jean Beausejour’s second-half goal halted Derby’s nine-match unbeaten charge.
And a fortnight after Cherries had won 2-1 at Reading, the Latics repeated the feat at the Madejski before following up with successive 0-0 draws at the DW Stadium against Birmingham City and Burnley.
Wigan were on course to book a place in the fourth round of the FA Cup after racing into a 2-0 lead against MK Dons six days ago, although a brace from Verwood-born Ben Reeves helped the League One outfit force a replay as the tie eventually finished all-square at 3-3.
England under-21 midfielder Nick Powell, who is on loan from Manchester United, is the Latics’ leading goalscorer with eight, while Leon Barnett and Jordi Gomez both have four.
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