Wigan kept hold of their undefeated record at home against Fulham, but it wasn’t thanks to the performance, it was just a good job that they were no better. Having to make 3 substitutes in the first half though didn’t help things much.
Steve Bruce’s plans went through the window in the first 20 minutes when after a very slow start he had to cope with injuries to Antonio Valencia and then Michael Brown to what seem to be strain injuries. Mido followed them off just before half time.
This left the team struggling against a very negative Fulham side that seemed very happy to crowd their half and send Andrew Johnson off after long punts. The afternoon was brightened up by Johnson’s unconvincing dives that even had the referee shaking his head in disbelief, why he wasn’t booked for them is the only thing that was more unbelievable.
The first half offered very few chances and to be fair Fulham had the best of it although Mido was the one who had possibly the best chance, heading wide from 6 yards when he really should have hit the target.
The introduction of Ben Watson, Jason Koumas and later Amr Zaki did nothing to get Latics moving and the game was always going to be destined for a boring 0-0 draw a stark contrast to the very exciting if not very lucky 0-0er the week before.
The second half did nothing to get our hopes up and the match carried on in the same way as the first. Our new signings Watson and N’Zogbia look like they can do a bit especially N’Zogbia. Unfortunately you can tell that they haven’t had a lot of time to gel with the squad as pass after pass went wayward and times had us pulling our hair out.
The positives are that they did seem to be comfortable on the ball and aren’t scared to put that killer pass or last ditch tackle in and so long term I think we’ll benefit greatly from the acquisitions. It just seemed today that some much needed team time is what is in order, so that they can gel and hopefully we’ll see a totally different attitude when we visit struggling Middlesbrough.
The stats say it all when you see that only two shots were put on target by both teams, none of which really troubled the keepers in either goal and a draw, as bad a spectacle as it was is a fair result. Both managers will be happy to get the team to themselves for the next two week as the FA Cup takes over.
Report by Jason Taylor