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New to League One: Wigan Athletic

1 June 2017

We continue our look at the sides new to League One for 2017-18, this time focusing on Wigan Athletic who spent one season away from the third tier following promotion to the Championship in 2015-16.

The Latics finished 23rd in the second tier in 2016-17, with then-manager Gary Caldwell given until the end of October to try and make a running start in the Championship following promotion from League One as Champions in 2015-16.

One win in their first nine Championship matches (3-0 v Blackburn Rovers) and just two in 14 ended his tenure in charge of the side with Wigan in 23rd position and three points of safety. They'd managed to pick up 11 points for their tally up until that point, but would have to rely on Graham Barrow in a caretaker spell for one match.

He'd be triumphant in that solitary fixture, taking all three points in a 1-0 away victory over Cardiff City at the end of October, with Warren Joyce named Caldwell's permanent successor days later. His baptism of fire going into the international break would be a 3-0 home defeat to Reading, while he would have to wait until the end of November to collect his first three points. That would come against the eventual play-off winners Huddersfield Town at the John Smith's Stadium.

A run of five straight defeats in December ended 2016 on a bad note for the Latics and they began 2017 with another defeat as they lost out to the Terriers. Six points from six against Burton Albion and Brentford respectively did see them claw out of the relegation zone to 21st.

Joyce and Wigan took eight points from six games during February and the start of March, but with the side slipping back to 23rd in the table and four points from safety, the decision was taken to remove him from the helm and re-install Barrow as caretaker manager until the end of the campaign.

Following three straight defeats, the Latics managed two consecutive 3-2 home wins against already-relegated Rotherham United and Barnsley, respectively, before their own demotion was confirmed two games later after a goalless draw with Cardiff City.

After one season away from Sky Bet League One, the Iron face Wigan for the first time since January 2016 when Luke Williams netted in a 1-1 draw at Glanford Park. Those two league meetings were the first encounters since 2000 and 2017-18's matches will be the 25th and 26th clashes between the two sides; barring any cup draws.

The side will also have a fresh impetus after appointing Paul Cook as their new manager after he made the decision to make a switch to Portsmouth.

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