Boyce: Latics have to fix leaky defence

Wigan Athletic take on Everton at DW Stadium. Latics player Emmerson Boyce, left, goes for the ball with Everton's Leighton Baines
Wigan Athletic take on Everton at DW Stadium. Latics player Emmerson Boyce, left, goes for the ball with Everton's Leighton Baines
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EMMERSON Boyce has called on Wigan Athletic to stop “letting themselves down at the back” as they aim to turn around the campaign against Arsenal on Saturday.

The Sky cameras will be in town for the lunchtime visit of the Gunners, with Latics hoping for three points that would lift them out of the bottom three ahead of the 3pm kick-offs.

Latics are in the midst of an injury crisis at the moment, with James McCarthy and Adrian Lopez joining a crocked list that already includes Antolin Alcaraz, Ivan Ramis, Albert Crusat, Ben Watson, Ryo Miyaichi and skipper Gary Caldwell.

But Boyce believes Latics have been the architects of their own downfall recently, with sloppy defending costing them valable points.

Both of the goals in the 2-1 defeat at Norwich could have been avoided, and Boyce says the backline have to raise their game to give the team a chance to kickstart their campaign.

“We thought the game at Norwich was there for the taking, but we let ourselves down at the back again,” Boyce acknowledged. “And that’s the difference – we seem to have to work so hard for our goals, and then we give them away at the other end.”

The defeat at Carrow Road was Wigan’s fifth in the last seven games – a run that has seen them slip into the drop zone.

And although the Canaries are on a magnificent 10-game unbeaten run in the league, Boyce admits it was a missed opportunity.

“It was a very disappointing game for us,” he added.

“We just didn’t turn up in the first half and that’s where the damage was done.

“We knew Norwich would come out flying but we weren’t ready for them.

“It was a different story in the second half, we managed to get the goal back and we were looking good to push on for the win.

“But we couldn’t capitalise when we were on top and, not for the first time this season, we let another soft goal in and we can’t let that keep happening.”