Latics lost their unbeaten home record under Uwe Rösler against a determined Millwall, with eight changes to the side that beat Leeds at the weekend it is hardly surprising that the performance was more akin to a training ground practice than a Championship game from a side busting a gut to ensure a playoff spot is the order of the day.
Carlos Edwards 22nd minute deflected shot gave the visitors the lead that they deserved, to make so many changes to the starting line-up I felt showed a lack of respect to our opponents and they made us pay for that with a dogged performance that had Ian Holloway dancing with joy at the final whistle.
Latics were a team bereft of ideas in the first half, the midfield had no direction, the forward line was too isolated and the defence lacked any urgency when in possession and moved the ball side-ways.
For the second 45 minutes Rösler threw on Fortune and McArthur for the ineffectual Maynard and McEachran, but despite a slightly quickened tempo there wasn’t really anything to talk about, maybe a chance for Collison that he curled wide when he really should have hit the target and Powell who was very wasteful in possession, once again.
The two bright spots on a dismal evening were the fact that Shaun Maloney came through his first 90 minutes since September and another solid performance from Rob Kiernan.
We went into the game with a nine point cushion on the chasing pack, by the time we play again that could be down to just three, let’s hope that last night’s ‘restings’ don’t come back to haunt us.
Latics – Carson, Boyce, Barnett, Kiernan, McEachran (McArthur 45), Collison, Beausejour, Waghorn, Maloney, McClean (Powell 63), Maynard (Fortune 45)
Unused subs – Nicholls, Caldwell, Rogne, McManaman
Millwall – Forde; Edwards (Fredericks 45), Dunne, Beevers, Malone; Upson (Williams 66), Bailey; Martin, Garvan, Woolford; Maierhofer (Morison 67)
Unused subs – Bywater, Robinson, Jackson, McDonald