A Short Statistical Look at Wigan Athletic’s Promotion Hopes


Owen Coyle vs Uwe Rosler

  • Coyle’s total league games: 16
  • Coyle’s total league points: 22
  • Coyle’s avg points per block*: 5.5
  • Rosler’s total league games: 11
  • Rosler’s total league points: 21
  • Rosler’s avg points per block*: 7.636

* – Block = 4 league games. There is 11.5 blocks in a Championship season.

Wigan’s best block came under Uwe Rosler’s management, gaining 8 points against Birmingham, Burnley, Derby and Bournemouth. However, they followed that with their worst block, again under Rosler, picking up just 4 points against Doncaster, Middlesbrough, Charlton and Huddersfield.

Were Wigan right to sack Owen Coyle, though? One could argue that Coyle’s Wigan were only 3 points off the play-off target, so he should have been given more time. However, Wigan’s primary target was automatic promotion, and Coyle could have been arguably branded a ‘dinosaur’ for his bland playing system and questionable training methods. My comparison of Martinez, Coyle and Rosler shows differences in the playing systems of each manager.

Wigan faced 2 league games, against Leeds and Millwall, under caretaker manager Graham Barrow after Coyle’s sacking. Both matches were lost, putting Wigan 6 points behind the now play-off target.

Do the play-offs beckon?


The average number of points needed to secure the final play-off place in the Championship from seasons 2005/06-2012/13 were 72.75, equating to 73. The average points per block needed were 6.326.

Wigan, then, need a further 30 points from 17 games to build on their 43 in order to finish in the play-offs. If Rosler’s side continue to achieve 7.636 points per block, they will finish the season with 74.363 (equating to 74) points, thus [historically] achieving a play-off place.

The average 6th place play-off side would have obtained 46 points after 29 league games, meaning Wigan are 3 points behind their target. This also means that Wigan have caught up on 3 points in 11 league games under Rosler after being 6 points behind their target, 18 league games into the season.

Wigan could be fully back on track in just 2 games should they pick up 6 points, as the average 6th place play-off side would have acquired 49 points after 31 league games. I envisage that a win against Barnsley at home would come as no surprise, but a tricky away trip to Brighton (the day before my 18th birthday – had to throw it in) could set Wigan back. 3 points from the next 2 games would not be a complete disaster; we’d be in a very similar predicament to the one we are in now – 3 points off the boil, but Rosler’s average points per block [and Wigan’s promotion hopes] would drop slightly.


Rosler knows.

Rosler knows.

According to the historical data, this is how many points Wigan should be targeting after each game in order to earn a shot at the play-offs:

  • vs Barnsley (h): 47
  • vs Brighton (a): 49
  • vs Nottingham Forest (a): 51
  • vs Leicester (h): 52
  • vs Sheffield Wednesday (h): 54
  • vs Ipswich (a): 55
  • vs Yeovil (h): 57
  • vs Watford (h): 59
  • vs QPR (a): 60
  • vs Bolton (a): 62
  • vs Leeds (h): 63
  • vs Millwall (h): 65
  • vs Birmingham (a): 66
  • vs Reading (h): 68
  • vs Burnley (a): 70
  • vs Blackpool (h): 71
  • vs Blackburn (a): 73

Every match is vital, and it is imperative that Wigan Athletic and its [admittedly few] fans stay positive, holding on to the fact that the magic number for this season is 73, not 40, for once!


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