Barrow hands over the reins with regret

Nick Powell
Nick Powell

Graham Barrow admitted Wigan Athletic’s season-ending draw against Leeds was another frustrating addition to the file marked: ‘If we’d played like that all season, we wouldn’t be getting relegated’.

Latics took an early lead through Ryan Tunnicliffe, and were only pegged back shortly after the restart through a hugely-contentious penalty - for a foul on Eunan O’Kane - that was converted by Chris Wood.

Although Garry Monk’s men then hit the bar through Kemar Roofe, Latics stuck to their task and could have won it at the death only for Max Power’s lob to drift just wide of the target.

“It was a decent way to finish the season, and we had chances at the end to have won it,” acknowledged Barrow.

“We had to dig in a few times in that second half, because Leeds are a good side - one of the better sides we’ve played.

“I’m really impressed with what Garry’s done there, so fair play to him, but it was one of those games that we could have won.

“We sort of stuck to what we did at Reading last week, and we tweaked it a bit after the goal because they got a bit clever to it.

“They were getting in down the sides, with good movement, and they asked more questions of us than even Newcastle and Brighton in recent weeks.

“I can’t understand why he (Monk) is under any sort of pressure really, because he’s done a very good job.”

The 49th-minute penalty award by referee Scott Duncan looked soft to say the least, with several of the Wigan players voicing their clear displeasure.

“All the lads complained afterwards that it was a soft penalty, but I haven’t had time to look at it again,” revealed Barrow.

“There were occasions when we could have had a penalty as well, but I have no complaints about the referee, I thought he let the game flow.”

Barrow had restored Omar Bogle to the starting line-up, and the January signing from Grimsby put in a lively show - although he was unable to convert that into anything tangible on the scoreboard.

“Omar had a couple of good chances,” recognised Barrow. “He’s like a project really, isn’t he?

“He’s got a lot going for him, but he’s got to listen, he’s got to learn very quickly - even in League One.

“I said to him at half-time that he’s got to become a better team player.

“I like a lot about Omar, but the sooner he learns to listen, and becomes a sponge for taking information in, the better he’ll be.”

Barrow also explained his dilemma at wanting to throw on 18-year-old substitute Callum Lang for his debut, while trying to do his utmost to win the game.

“What can I say...it’s something that you’ll never change in a person like myself,” the Latics interim boss added.

“The competitive spirit came out in terms of making the substitutions.

“I’m not saying he wouldn’t have come on and got the winner, but I just thought Ryan (Colclough) was the better option down the right-hand side.

“Nick Powell hadn’t really recovered well from last week, and that just shows how far he was behind when we were speaking every week about him starting.

“The 70-80 minutes at Reading had really taken its toll.

“I apologised to Callum, because the plan had always been to get him on the pitch.

“But Morgs (Craig Morgan) had been struggling with a chest infection and, as we saw last week at Reading, sometimes you have to make substitutions when you don’t intend to.

“His time will come, though, and it’s good for him to have been involved.”