They were FA Cup winners in 2013 but Wigan Athletic will be playing Sky Bet League One football next season after two relegations in two years.
Wigan Athletic Football ClubName:
Stadium: DW Stadium
How They Got Here
Following their demotion from the Premier League in 2013, Wigan almost made an immediate return to the top flight the very next year.
They finished fifth in the Sky Bet Championship meaning they earned a play-off berth but lost to Queens Park Rangers in the semi-final over two legs.
The Latics started the 2014/15 season with just two wins in their opening 13 games and manager Uwe Rosler left the club in November.
Former Cardiff City boss Malky Mackay then took charge but couldn’t turn Wigan’s fortunes around and, with the club languishing in the relegation zone, the Scot left DW Stadium in April.
Gary Caldwell, who had retired from playing just two months previously, was appointed as the new manager but could do little to halt the club’s slide towards relegation, which was confirmed when Rotherham United beat Reading on 28th April.
The Man In Charge
Current Latics manager Gary Caldwell began his career in football at Newcastle United but didn’t make a first team appearance for the Magpies.
He spent time on loan at various Football League clubs, including Coventry City and Derby County, before sealing a permanent switch to Scottish side Hibernian in January 2004.
There he made over 100 appearances in just over two years and his form prompted Celtic to bid for his services and he signed for the Glasgow outfit in 2006.
In a four-year career at Celtic Park, Caldwell played just shy of 150 games, including many in the Champions League.
He signed for Wigan Athletic in 2010, going on to be a key component for the Latics and even played alongside his brother, Steven, at the DW.
He retired in February 2015 before taking up a coaching role with the club’s academy. However, it wasn’t long before the 33-year-old was given the first team manager’s job and he will lead the Latics in League One next season.
The DW Stadium has been the home of Wigan Athletic since it was built in 1999. It also houses Super League giants Wigan Warriors.
The ground, previously referred to as the JJB Stadium, has a capacity of around 25,140 and it’s record attendance is 25,133 – for a match with Manchester United in 2008.
It is located just over 45 miles away from Vale Park, around an hour’s drive. To get to the DW, head north on the M6 and come off the motorway at junction 25, onto Warrington Road.
Take the first exit on the roundabout and the ground will be on your right, just behind the retail park.
The last meeting between Wigan and Vale was over a decade ago, during the 2002/03 season. The sides exchanged 1-0 wins at each other’s grounds.
The Valiants packed the first punch with Ian Armstrong scoring the only goal at the DW Stadium in August.
In the corresponding fixture at Vale Park Jason De Vos netted a 69th minute winner for the Latics to give them a Boxing Day victory.
Of the 29 games played between the sides, Vale and Wigan have won 11 each. There have been seven draws.