Barrow bemoans ‘Sunday league’ defending

Graham Barrow
Graham Barrow

Graham Barrow admitted Wigan Athletic had only themselves to blame after crashing 2-1 at Premier League-bound Brighton, to slip closer to an immediate return to League One.

Most of the near 30,000-strong crowd on the south coast had turned up to cheer on the Seagulls into the top flight - which was mathematically confirmed later in the day with Huddersfield’s failure to win at Derby.

Despite a spirited showing - and another late goal from substitute Nick Powell - the visitors can have no complaints at the result.

Glenn Murray scored the first goal just after the half-hour mark, after the Latics defence was unable to deal with a routine long ball from the back.

And Solly March made it 2-0 just after the hour, again taking advantage of poor defending, to put the game beyond the visitors.

“The first goal is not great from any aspect of the game,” Barrow moaned.

“In fairness, we came back from that, and we were still in the game when we made the changes (on the hour).

“Then they got the second goal, which was also disappointing from our point of view.

“We knew it was going to be difficult, but I think we made it a little bit more difficult for ourselves than it had to be.”

At the heart of Wigan’s problems was a shaky performance from on-loan Stoke goalkeeper Jakob Haugaard, who fumbled the ball several times and only escaped further punishment thanks to a mixture of poor finishing and desperate defending.

“It’s something we’re going to have to look at obviously,” Barrow acknowledged.

“He didn’t have a lot to do really.

“I thought the midfield four worked hard particularly, to see the plan out.

“It’s the first goal that’s really got me really.

“From being in no trouble whatsoever, it’s a Sunday league goal if I’m being honest.

“It’s a goal you’d be really disappointed to lose in a veterans game, never mind against a professional team.

“We’ve got to look at that and see what we can do about it.”

It was Haugaard’s third appearance on the spin since being restored to the side at the expense of Matt Gilks, who had looked to be in fine form.

Interim boss Barrow admitted last week it hadn’t been his decision to make the change, with the terms of Haugaard’s loan deal from Stoke understood to be behind the selection.

“Yes that’s still the case, and we’ll have to see,” Barrow revealed.

“We’ll have a few conversations and see where we go.

“The worrying things is it didn’t get any better through the game.

“Almost from the first minute to the last, if we’re being honest.

“It’s something we’re going to have to talk about.”