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TALE OF THE UNEXPECTED

Posted on 28 November 2005  - 12:00

Ledley King admits our trip to Wigan was not one he had marked down as a top six clash when the fixtures were published during the close season.

Ledley King admits our trip to Wigan was not one he had marked down as a top six clash when the fixtures were published during the close season.

That is the way it has panned out though, with Wigan sitting proudly in second place and us four points behind in sixth. A run of nine games unbeaten - featuring just one draw - propelled Paul Jewell's side up the the Premiership standings after single goal defeats in their opening two games of the campaign.

Since Wigan have confounded the pundits who predicted a top flight ranking pretty much in accordance with their place in the alphabet, Saturday's trip to the JJB Stadium has taken on a different perspective, as Ledley readily acknowledges.

"It has with the start that Wigan have made, they have surprised a lot of people," he reasoned. "It was a game you would have looked at at the start thinking about hopefully picking up three points.

Ledley attributes Wigan's success so far to a combination of factors that he believes can take a team a long way

"It's not worked out like that with the way they are playing. We know, from having seen them against the likes of Arsenal and Chelsea, that we are in for a tough battle."

"A lot of it is hard work and I think it comes from their manager. You look at the team, they all work so hard for each other and they are organised as well. If you have got those two things you can be hard to beat and they have also got some quality as well.

"They are looking like a good Premiership side, without a shadow of a doubt. Everyone is expecting them to slip up, but it doesn't look like happening yet.

"It is going to be a battle, the crowd get behind them and we know what to expect. The two front men are fast and we are under no illusions over what kind of game it is going to be. We are going to have to work as hard as them and try and produce that bit of quality that can make a difference."