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Latics suffer Ewood defeat

 

Latics beaten by Emnes strike and remain in relegation trouble.

SKYBET CHAMPIONSHIP LEAGUE - EWOOD PARK - Saturday March 4th 2017
 

BLACKBURN ROVERS
Emnes (58)

1-0
WIGAN ATHLETIC

Well that just wasn’t good enough was it?  No matter how you dress it up, that was a game that we needed to win but looking at both the team selection and performance you wouldn’t have thought so.

Yet again we had far too many defensive midfielders on the park.  Ryan Tunnicliife, James Hanson and Shaun MacDonald are all defensive players and unless you are then playing three out and out attackers they shouldn’t be in the same side.  Yes we had Michael Jacobs and Omar Bogle, but Sam Morsy is not a wide player or an attacking midfielder so yet again our attack is relying on one player and is quite simply stifled.  What did we do when we were chasing the game?  We took Jacobs off and still persisted with one winger.  Ryan Tunnicliffe is NOT a winger so please Warren, Graham, Andy, whoever it is that picks the team stop playing him there.

The first half display from both sides was pretty poor and had that feeling of nervousness that you get from games like this when both sides are almost afraid to lose and so fail to commit bodies forward in fear of being caught on the break.  That sadly is just how we appear to play these days.  The best chances undoubtedly did fall to us though but again we weren’t able to take them and in reality, we blew them.  Michael Jacobs fired a low shot wide of Jason Steele’s goal after a strong run and Omar Bogle tamely hit one into his chest after a quick break from Sam Morsy.  Personally I thought that Bogle should have been played in earlier and allowed to run into the area but he should still have worked the Rovers ‘keeper more than he did.   Michael Jacobs may also have been able to play Bogle in but fancied the glory on his return to the side, but he failed to make Steele work which is again something that we are lacking in at the moment.  The odd shots we do manage to get on target are tame and straight at the goalkeeper.

It was one of these tame shots that led to our downfall.  Callum Connolly hitting a shot goal wards from distance straight at Steele which allowed him to quickly send the ball up field and put Rovers on the attack.  The touch from Marvin Emnes was superb to control the ball but his low shot from the edge of the area should have been covered better by Matt Gilks who was beaten at his near post.  Rovers could have extended their lead through breakaway chances for Connor Mahoney and Elliott Bennett but only needed the one goal to beat us as we lost 1-0 for the 8th time this season.

In response, Omar Bogle and Dan Burn did head over but realistically we never looked like scoring and showed our complete lack of attacking threat which is the sole reason why we are in the position we are in.  Forgetting the farcical substitution debacle that made us look quite frankly amateurish; we played the last 20 with two strikers yet neither of them were seen in the area at the same time and were both completely absent when at least two balls were played into the area.  We just don’t commit enough men forward and until we do we will be stuck in this position.  Blackburn on the other hand after two wins in a week are now out of the relegation zone and have a game in hand over ourselves and Bristol City.

Graham Barrow: "It's a massive game for both teams and Blackburn probably just showed the bit of quality that was needed to win it. I think the finger has to be pointed at people higher up the pitch. From midfield onwards, we have to do better. There's different ways to score and it's probably down to bravery and commitment to get forward. It certainly wasn't there first half was it?"

 

Cockney Latic Man of the Match: N/A
Referee: Jeremy Simpson
Attendance: 13,165
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BLACKBURN ROVERS WIGAN ATHLETIC
1 Steele 35 Gilks
24 Nyambe 12 Connolly
26 Lenihan 3 Buxton
14 Mulgrew 33 Burn
5 Williams 23 Warnock (C)
7 Feeney 16 MacDonald
6 Lowe (C) 26 Hanson
23 Guthrie 19 Tunnicliffe
32 Conway 8 Morsy
17 Emnes 17 Jacobs
19 Gallagher 14 Bogle
SUBS
33 Raya 40 Evans
4 Hoban 4 Perkins
12 Graham 6 Power
18 Lucas Jãou 7 Gilbey
27 Tomlinson 9 Grigg
28 Mahoney 11 Obertan
31 Bennett 47 Weir

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