Wigan Athletic’s first season in the Championship since 2003/04 has been split into two parts. Pre and post Uwe Rösler.
Before the former Brentford boss joined the club, Wigan sat in 14th place with only six wins from 16 games. They had also had an unlikely dream of Europa League glory scuppered, finishing bottom of their qualification group.
Rösler then replaced Owen Coyle on December 7 and has revitalised the side, who are now unbeaten in nine matches in all competitions.
They also claimed the shock result of the season so far by knocking Premier League giants Manchester City out of the FA Cup, the competition they famously won last season against the same opposition.
Tuesday’s frantic 3-3 draw with relegation battlers Yeovil Town, which saw five goals in the last eight minutes, was the first time Wigan have failed to win at home in the Championship since the start of 2014.
A victory would have set a new club record for consecutive Football League wins.
Wigan currently sit fifth in the table and are arguably the form team in the play-offs at the moment, taking 23 points from their last ten league games.
Rösler has set his team a target of averaging two points a game for their remaining fixtures to ensure a top-six finish.
They also have a commitments outside of the Championship this season, with their victory against Manchester City in the FA Cup setting up a trip to Wembley in April to face Arsenal in the semi-finals.
For the game against Watford, Wigan will be without Ben Watson and Chris McCann, whose double leg break and fractured knee cap respectively will keep them sidelined for the rest of the season. They will also be missing Roger Espinoza, who is sidelined after a hernia operation.
However, Rösler has strengthened the squad with loan signings, including Ryan Tunnicliffe from Fulham and Jack Collison from West Ham United.
Their top scorer, Nick Powell, is also a loan signing, having joined Wigan from Manchester United.
His goal against Yeovil, in his first start since January 28 due to injury, takes his total to 12 for the season, six of which have come in the League.
Watford secured a 1-0 win in the corresponding home fixture in September, but a rejuvenated Wigan side will not be an easy task for Giuseppe Sannino’s men on Saturday.