Latics suffered a tough defeat away at Millwall last night, two players sent off, Martyn Waghorn and Jason Pearce, two gilt edge changes missed by Marc-Antoine Fortune and Gaetan Bong, definitely a case of what might have been.
Following the game both managers spoke to the media, let’s take a look at what they had to say:
Latics boss Gary Caldwell – ‘I’m obviously disappointed with the result, we came here to win’
‘The players that were left on the pitch at the end, I said I was proud of them because they showed a lot of character in that they still tried to play a passing game, move us up the pitch and they were willing to run forward and create chances even when we had nine men on the pitch.
‘Again, I couldn’t ask for more effort or application but we have to be clever, we have to be cute in certain situations but we didn`t deal with those as well as we could.
‘When the pressure comes in stadiums like this and the crowd wants to get behind their team then we have to be brave – not in the sense of being willing to fight people – but be brave on the ball and control the game and, at times when the crowd got behind them and their players got up for it, we didn’t do that.
‘We controlled the game in the first-half, we had five minutes where they wanted to fight and we got sucked into that. But then we had a great chance with Marco’s header and a couple of opportunities from which we could have done better and that’s something that we have to work on.
‘Gaetan had a great opportunity just after that; he was willing to get forward and go on the overlap which we felt would cause them problems but it just lacked that finish and that bit of composure that we need in the box, something that has been a problem all season.
‘We’ll work hard on the training field to get that right; for this season and for next.’
‘James’ looked a penalty from where I was as the boy has dangled a leg in the area, I don’t know how much contact there was as I haven’t seen it back but I’ve seen them given
‘Waggy’s [sending off] is silly, he’s came on and obviously tried to give something to the team but we have to be a bit cuter than that in games like this; yes, the boy has stamped on him after the tackle but he can’t lash out like that, we can’t argue with that.
‘The second one, I don’t know how he can send Jason [Pearce]off; he’s came through and won the ball, yes through the man, but it’s a clean, hard and honest tackle and then he gets hit in the face but he gets sent off out of all of that.
‘You need a strong ref in stadiums like this when the crowd gets up and, in that situation, I don’t think we had it.’
‘Every game is big still, we’re fighting not just for this season but for the future of this club in every single training session and every single game – those players know we want 100% from every single one of them.
‘We’ll recover from this, work hard to be ready for Saturday in front of our home fans and put on a show that hopefully they enjoy and hopefully we get a win.
‘We are working hard at this club to improve every single day.’
Roberto on at half-time
By permission of Bernard Platt/Wigan AthleticMillwall boss Neil Harris – ‘That was a Millwall performance.
‘That is what this club is all about. If the players hadn’t learned anything from me before tonight they have now.
‘I don’t condone melees but if you need a spark down at The Den you have to look after your own.
‘I can see an argument for all three red cards. But it’s a man’s game. I can’t ask for commitment, passion, tackles, and then criticise one of my players for it.’