Boyce upbeat despite defeat

Callum McManaman struggles against Doncaster
Callum McManaman struggles against Doncaster

EMMERSON Boyce is hoping the disappointing defeat at Doncaster can act as a huge ‘kick up the backside’ for Wigan Athletic.

Latics surrendered their eight-match unbeaten record at the Keepmoat, the visitors being off the pace for the majority and well beaten.

It was the poorest performance by a country mile since Uwe Rosler took charge at the beginning of December.

But Boyce is hoping that, in the long-term, it can act as a huge positive.

“Doncaster was one of those games where we never really got going,” Boyce told the Evening Post.

“A lot of people may disagree with me here, but I believe it may turn out to be a good thing for us to have a little setback.

“We’ve played a lot of the top teams in recent weeks – like Derby, Reading and Burnley – and we’ve done really well.

“Maybe we took our eyes off the ball at Doncaster, and hopefully it will act as a kick up the backside for us and get us back on track.

“Since the manager came in everything has been going pretty well, this is the first real setback we’ve had.

“It’s up to the players now to pick ourselves up now and go again, and hopefully there are plenty of good times ahead of us this season.”

Team-mate Chris McCann agrees with the skipper, and wants Latics to use the game as ‘a marker’ for the rest of the campaign.

“We’ve set very high standards in recent games and we didn’t reach them at Doncaster,” said McCann, who was once again deployed as a third centre-back in the first period before moving up to his customary midfield berth after the break.

“The defeat will be a lesson to us – we can’t afford to just settle for what we’ve done already this season, we’ve got to raise the bar every week.

“We’ve got to use this game as a marker and make sure our standards don’t fall like this again.

“We knew it would be a difficult game, and we can’t use tiredness as an excuse because we simply didn’t show up.

“We had our chances early on, and on a different day maybe we could have scored a couple. But that doesn’t take away that fact that it wasn’t a very good performance.

“It was a bad day at the office, and we’ve got to move on very quickly.”