Swindon Town 1 Wigan Athletic 0
I did not have high hopes for Latics winning this game. In recent years Wigan have so often performed poorly against teams close to them at the top or bottom of a division, although Kyle Joseph’s epic hat-trick helped buck that trend fairly recently in a win at Burton. Moreover, Latics were fielding yet another new line-up in the centre of defence in Scott Wootton and Curtis Tilt, together with a debut for Funso Ojo in midfield. No time to gel.
After 17 minutes a lack of mutual understanding between the two centre backs allowed an unmarked Tyler Smith to head the ball at Jamie Jones who parried the ball away to an offside Brett Pitman to slot the ball home. It had been a dire game of football up to that stage and sadly for Wigan it got no better. Even though the home team were down to 10 men after Dion Conroy’s red card in the 64th minute Latics were toothless and devoid of imagination in attack. The midfield was static, as were the front three. More than anything else Latics seemed to lack the passion to get back into the game.
It was a frustrating game for Latics fans to watch, nothing more so than the sheer wastage of corner kicks. The quality of delivery of balls launched directly into the box from corners was woeful, but what was even more frustrating was a sterile routine on short corners, with the ball so often going back towards the half-way line, relieving pressure on the opposition defence. This is nothing new, but it was particularly frustrating in this game. A rethink needed from the coaching staff on the matter.
After the game Leam Richardson commented:
“It was a tough night. It took is 15-20 minutes for us to try and impose our style in tough conditions.The goal was very disappointing and then when they go down to 10 men, it’s about our decision making and asking the question of how can we be more productive?
Tonight wasn’t our night. The players were honest in their approach and we tried to play the right way, but we’ve got to be better with our quality and our end product.We’re disappointed with the goal, but when there’s change there are always going to be a few teething problems. We’ve changed again, drastically, and we aren’t blessed with great numbers to mix it up, but what we have got is an honest group who stand for each other in this situation. All we can do is continue to do our best for the club.”
Let’s take a look at how fans reacted to the match through the message boards and social media. Our thanks go to the Vital Wigan – Latics Speyk Forum and Twitter for providing the media for the posts below to happen. Thanks go to all whose contributions are identified below:
Gardner didn’t bother closing down full back, Tilt didn’t pick up his man but Jones still should’ve done better. All deserve blame but Jones mucks up what should be routine saves too often.
True Believer responded:
Come on KDZ, the guy was left exposed again and actually made a snap save from a free header. That was never a routine save.
Once again the keeper will be ostracised for a complete shambles by the defence and blamed for a loss whilst the rest of the “toothless” team fail to get a shot on target.
The passing tonight was abysmal all sideways and backwards none of the midfield played a decent pass all night and because of this we failed to threaten a weakened defence after their CB and captain was sent off.
Too many people on here looking for a scapegoat and blinded by the fact that the keeper we have is L1 keeper and not a world class stopper.
No excuses for that performance. Not buying the players need to gel or that we have a young side. Absolutely no fight for a relegation 6 pointer. Completely deserve relegation with torrid performances like that.
I’m absolutely convinced that this is a confidence issue. The players are much better than the cr.p we saw tonight.
True Believer summarised:
TBH and getting away from the criticism of Jones we were absolutely clueless tonight. From back to front we didn’t help each other. The midfield were guilty of allowing runners to use the wings all game and failed to stop the crosses that were putting the CB’s under pressure.
The CB’s were asleep for the goal and the constant passing across the back slowed the game to walking pace and allowed the opposition to get their defence set.
Pearce was once again our main threat, but his throw in routine is crap. He ambles over to the ball and then waits to allow the opposition to mark up the runners before looking to play the ball. Darikwa on the other hand used Wootton on a good few occasions to get the ball back in play quicker.
Our forwards were static and gave the midfield no opportunity to play the ball to them. They should have been moving the CB’s around and making runs to break the line but instead stood in front of the backs giving them the time to make a challenge. When they did break the line the final ball was poor and often over hit allowing the opposition to mop it up and snuff out the threat.
All in all it was a poor performance and had Swindon had the confidence and players that Blackpool had we would probably have shipped more goals as in my opinion this was a worse performance than the one against the seasiders.
Hopefully we can put it right next time out and I still believe the players are capable of getting us the results we need.