UWE Rosler delivered a damning assessment of his Wigan Athletic players after they crashed 3-1 in a real demolition derby at Bolton.
Latics had started the game in promising enough fashion but, after Callum McManaman hit the crossbar and the post, the wheels soon came off.
Three goals in the space off 11 minutes at the start of the second period ended the game as a contest, with McManaman’s goal 12 minutes from time scant consolation.
And Rosler held back absolutely nothing in his post-match press conference, accusing his players of ‘giving up’ and leaving him ‘embarrassed’ by the performance.
“We started off perfect, continuing the way we left off at Brighton,” Rosler said.
“But the longer the game went, Craig Davies got stronger and stronger and bullied out two centre-backs, and the referee let him do it.
“That was crucial for them turning the game around, with us having failed to score when we were on top.
“In the second half - and I have to be honest here - Bolton won the game with pure will-power, desire, energy, going to the limit and forcing the issue.
“Full credit to them, but we just folded together. And for that, I have no understanding whatsoever.
“I make it absolutely clear that I take full responsibility but, when it comes to analysing the game, we gave up.
“I apologise to the chairman and to the supporters, because it’s very seldom any team under my charge can be accused of giving up.
“We gave up in the second half and I felt embarrassed.
“I’m not sure it meant as much to some of my players as it meant for our supporters and our chairman.
“In any competitive game of football, you never give up, you always fight to the end.
“To give up at Bolton, in a derby game? It’s unforgivable.
“I can lose, I can stay through a difficult period, but what I can’t live with is players giving up.”
When asked what it meant for the players who Rosler was talking about, the German paused.
“I can’t be drawing conclusions now, 45 minutes after a game, a very disappointing day for our football club. It’s far too early,” he said.
“But I saw a lot today, and there is no excuse whatsoever.
“In the last few weeks and months I have been very calm in the dressing room, trying to focus on every positive I could - but today I wasn’t.
“What worries me is that some of the key members, players who I would not expect that from, have fallen so quickly off the wagon.”
The defeat means Latics could end the weekend in the bottom three, heading into the next international break.
When asked whether he feared for his job, Rosler replied: “You’ll have to ask the chairman.
“I am fearless, but there is always a risk when I started 10 years ago and it’s still the same.”