Sad news: Former Wigan Athletic revealed why he was unlucky with the team….

After his contract with Watford expires, the striker will be joining the Seasiders for a two-year contract with an option to stay for an extra year.

The 28-year-old left Vicarage Road to go on loan to Wigan Athletic, Sheffield Wednesday, and the New York Red Bulls, but he only scored two goals in 63 games overall for all three teams.

He acknowledged that “the last few years haven’t gone as planned.”

Crainey move will give Wigan extra motivation

The team from Brick Community Stadium has not lost to their fierce rivals Wanderers since a Zach Clough goal in the FA Cup First Round 1-0 in 2015.

Strangely, despite spending the most of the season under administration, the former Nottingham Forest player went on to make 13 appearances for the Latics in 2020–21, the season the team avoided relegation to League Two.

However, the ‘Tics have dominated their local rivals since that cup match nine and a half years ago, giving their supporters many unforgettable derby days.

Wigan Athletic’s unbeaten run vs Bolton Wanderers
Date Competition Venue Result
21/03/2015 Championship H 1-1 D
01/12/2018 Championship A 1-1 D
16/03/2019 Championship H 5-2 W
24/08/2021 EFL Cup H 0-0 (5-4 pens) W
16/10/2021 League One A 0-4 W
02/04/2022 League One H 1-1 D
19/08/2023 League One A 0-4 W
27/02/2024 League One H 1-0 W

In March 2015, even though the team was ultimately relegated from the Championship to League One that season, Latics supporters would have been thrilled with a goal from former striker Martyn Waghorn in the ninetieth minute to draw 1-1 with the Greater Manchester rivals.

The fans of Wigan Athletic were especially happy on Saturday, March 16, 2019, as they crushed the Wanderers 5-2 in the 2018–19 season, keeping Paul Cook’s Latics in the Championship while demoting Bolton.

The teams wouldn’t play each other again until August 2021 in an EFL Cup match that ended in a 5-4 penalty shootout victory for the ‘Tics after a 0-0 stalemate.

The Latics would subsequently experience what was possibly their best season ever less than two months later.

It was derby day as they went to the Toughsheet Community Stadium and defeated their rivals 4-0 thanks to goals from Will Keane, Callum Lang, and James McClean.

Following a 1-1 tie between the teams in April 2022, which saw McClean score again, Maloney’s team pulled off an unexpected victory against their well-known rivals in the previous campaign.

The Latics defeated the Wanderers 4-0 on foreign territory in August 2023, having previously won the rematch 1-0 in February.

The Wanderers will be especially disappointed because they lost six of those points to their fiercest rivals, and last season they were only five points away from automatic promotion.

Meanwhile, the Latics will be adamant about extending their winning streak over Evatt’s team to ten years. With Crainey leaving, they will be even more inspired to do so.

Wigan and Bolton could find themselves in the same promotion battle next season

The Latics and Wanderers were in different league positions the previous season because Evatt’s team was fighting for promotion and ultimately lost to Oxford United in the play-off final.

Maloney’s team, meanwhile, was thrilled to finish in the top half after a season during which they could only use academy products, free agents, and loanees due to transfer restrictions.

However, the Latics will be gunning for a postseason spot next season and may have to face battle against the Wanderers in close games at the top of the standings.

For everyone involved, the match between the two clubs in April 2025 might be extremely suspenseful.

, but Maloney and company will be hoping that Crainey is losing that time.

His departure is contentious and will leave a sour taste. However, Wigan has the opportunity to take advantage of it during the season to give them the upper hand in terms of bragging rights and possibly even promotion.

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