What a fantastic performance from the Latics at Bramall Lane, Gary Caldwell sprung a couple of surprises with his team selection ahead of the match, Sam Morsy and new loan signing Conor McAleny both coming in for a start.
Following a quietish first half the Latics exploded after the break, Yanic Wildschut was unstoppable as he thundered into the area, he was brought down by Chris Basham for a penalty which Will Grigg dispatched with aplomb.
Just a couple of minutes after the opening goal Yanic again created havoc before laying the ball of to Max Power, the Latics midfielder then set up new boy McAleny who struck home from the edge of the area to make it 2-0 to the Latics.
Will Grigg saw a second penalty saved after Chris McCann was brought down, but a two goals to nil win away at Sheffield United will do nicely, following the final whistle both bosses spoke to the media, let’s take a look at what they had to say:
Latics boss Gary Caldwell – ‘I was absolutely delighted from start to finish
‘I thought we showed a lot of composure, game management and an understanding of how to win away from home by controlling the game in the first-half and then second-half showing devastating forward play to finish the game off.
‘If anything, it could have been more with the penalty we had and the chances we created on the counter attack late on.
‘At half-time I told the lads they were doing OK because we were in control of the game and we were playing in possession but without hurting them as much as we could have.
‘If they wanted to up it in terms of the speed of their play and their penetration in their passing then the opportunity was there for them, to be fair they were devastating in the second-half for 20 minutes or so and they could have had more than two goals.’
‘I set the challenge to the players to go and keep a clean sheet because no team has gone to Bramall Lane and stopped Sheffield United from scoring this season. They are a good side and Billy Sharp is a massive threat so to come here and get a clean sheet was just as important as the goals we have scored. ‘
Adkins and Caldwell at Bramall Lane
By permission of Bernard Platt/Wigan Athletic
Sheffield United boss Nigel Adkins – ‘It was poor decision making that leads to the penalty going against and unfortunately Wigan grabbed the initiative.
‘Then we concede a second soon after from our own throw-in and that’s bitterly disappointing. We speak a lot about the importance of controlling restarts and keeping possession but we didn’t and got punished.
‘At 2-0 down we had a mountain to climb against a good Wigan side and unfortunately we struggled to find a way of breaking them down.’
‘Wigan play a certain way, they play with one up front and narrow in midfield as they look to keep possession, but we needed to be more ruthless when we turned the ball over up the field.
‘Billy Sharp and Jose Baxter had chances in the first-half and we changed our shape a couple of times in a bid to get a grip of the game, but the turning point is the first penalty.
‘It was always going to be a tight game, it was in the first-half, but we are still gifting goals and that is costing us.’
Check out the latest PWU Podcast – Higher and Higher
Well what can we say following on from what was a great week for the Latics, a superb performance against Port Vale, a 3-0 win and some excellent business, in and out, in the transfer market.
Will Grigg notched his first hat-trick for the club at the weekend, Burton, Gillingham and Coventry all lost, we are now looking good for an automatic spot come the end of the season.
Transfer business concluded, O’Donnell, plus big earners Holt and Cowie leave the club, whilst hot prospects Sam Morsy and Ryan Colclough arrive.
Latics youngsters were unfortunate on Tuesday to lose against Man City in the FA youth cup 3rd round, the game went to extra time and could have gone either way, a super performance that bodes well for the future.
We are off to Sheffield United on Saturday, still smarting after letting a three goal lead slip just three weeks ago the Latics will want to get maximum points here to make up for that dreadful last 15 minutes at the DW.
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