Ex-Ipswich Town star Gavin Johnson sad to see former club Wigan Athletic struggling

Gavin Johnson

Gavin Johnson - Credit: Archant

Gavin Johnson was among the jubilant Wigan fans celebrating a shock FA Cup triumph at Wembley 18 months ago – but that won’t stop him wanting Ipswich Town to pile further misery on the Latics this weekend though.

The Suffolk-born midfielder made more than 130 appearances for the Blues between 1989 and 1995 before going to play his part in the early part of Wigan’s fairytale rise up the Football League.

Tomorrow’s match between the two teams at Portman Road sees Mick McCarthy’s promotion chasers face a team that, fancied by many in pre-season, are currently in turmoil.

Second-bottom and eight points adrift of safety following just one league win in 13, manager Malky Mackay has been forced to sell key men Callum McManaman, Adam Forshaw, Shaun Maloney and Ben Watson this week.

“I married a Wiganer, so we’re up there fairly regularly and I watch them play a couple of times a season,” explained Johnson, who also spent time at Colchester United.

“It was only 18 months ago that I was at Wembley jumping up and down after that FA Cup Final win (over Manchester City).

“It’s sad to see them struggling at the moment.

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“I joined them at the start of their rise up through the leagues, when Dave Whelan had just taken over and they were still playing at Springfield Park, and was part of the team that won the old Third Division.

“To be honest, they were punching above their weight being in the Premier League for so long, but I don’t want to see them spiral down the divisions.”

The 44-year-old, who continues to play for Old Newton in Division One of the Suffolk & Ipswich League, continued: “Town are on a role, I’ve been impressed whenever I’ve watched them and I see no reason why they can’t go on and achieve promotion.

“I’m delighted for the fans because they’ve had to wait a long time for something to get excited about.

“Mick McCarthy’s got them working really hard for him, the supporters and each other.”

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