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Hourihane on 2016 Playoff success

29 May 2020

On the fourth anniversary of our 2016 Playoff Final victory over Millwall at Wembley, we get the thoughts of the skipper that afternoon - Conor Hourihane!

What was that period like for yourself and the squad, as we'd won the JPT and then the playoff games against Walsall?


I think everyone around the club and the town had really bought into everything we were about and the togetherness was so good back then. I remember the town after the Wigan game then the Walsall games and it was such a good atmosphere and you could see that the fans were proud of their club again.

Adam Hammill gets the credit and rightly so, for that wonder goal at Wembley, but it was some performance, pretty much throughout wasn't it?


Look, what a goal that was from Adam, you know. Wow. He did it twice for us at Wembley in the JPT and the Playoff final. Fletch (Ashley Fletcher) got us off to a good start in that game early on, which settled the nerves. But I do feel that the earlier win in the JPT really gave us that extra inch ahead of Millwall at the time. 

We knew what it was all about. The feeling, the pressure, we had an advantage there heading into the Playoff final, it gave us forward momentum knowing we'd got that Wembley experience.

I think we started so well that it just took Millwall by surprise and the result was fully deserved.


Tell us about Lloyd Isgrove popping up with that header...


You couldn't write it could you!? I think that was the perfect moment to top off that rollercoaster season really. He hadn't scored all season, but was such a big part of the squad and the way that we wanted to play our football. He's such a good lad on and off the pitch, a really great personality and someone I still speak to today. 

For the smallest player on the field, you can imagine the reaction, in fact you can see it on the videos - Hecky was pointing, we were all going crazy. Millwall have all these big lads in the box and it's little Izzy with a header!

When he came running over towards me, the adrenaline rush was through the roof. That's probably the most I've celebrated a goal that I haven't scored. It was something else, it really was.

It was a real tale of two halves wasn't it that season?


A fairytale of a season really, it was very special and something I will never forget. We knew we were better than the results we were getting in the first half and then once everything clicked together, there was no stopping us. 

I've only ever been on two runs in a team where you go out every week, fully expecting to get points, you feel unbeatable. That year in 2015/16 and then with Villa when we were promoted. 


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