Joyce: Fans had ‘every right’ to boo

Warren Joyce
Warren Joyce

New boss Warren Joyce admitted he couldn’t blame the Wigan Athletic supporters who chose to vent their anger during Saturday’s 3-0 dismal home defeat at the hands of Reading.

Latics were two goals inside five minutes after gifting Garath McCleary a couple of easy goals - both of which were accompanied by boos from the home faithful.

More boos followed at both half-time and full-time, giving Joyce plenty to ponder on a disappointing first day at the office.

“The fans have got every right to do that when you’re 2-0 down after five minutes,” Joyce acknowledged.

“It doesn’t help that there’s some young players out there, but there’s also some experienced players.

“Players, coaches, managers have got to deal with situations like that.

“When you’re out there on the pitch, you’ve got a chance to keep working, keep running.

“When you’re there as a manager, you’re hoping your team mirrors the way you want to be.

“In that respect, I’m not too critical of the players, because I don’t think they ducked it.”

It was a real baptism of fire for Joyce, who had overseen only two days of training following his appointment on Wednesday night.

He also hinted that he had taken advice on his first team selection, which saw Will Grigg and Yanic Wildschut drop out at the expense of Max Power and Adam Le Fondre.

“To be fair, I’m not looking to make excuses or hiding after that,” he added.

“You’re coming in, you’ve got your own bits of opinions, but the majority of things are in place.

“Max and Adam were obviously unavailable last week, so they came back into contention.

“But the training’s been decent, I was quite pleased with what I saw from the players on the grass.

“But you’re also unsure as to exactly how much or how little they can and can’t do, so you’re pulling back a little bit.

“Even saying that, after the two early goals, all preparation goes out of the window.”

Both Wildschut and Grigg made an impression after coming off the bench, with Jordi Gomez making way at half-time and Jake Buxton around the hour mark.

“Buxton has had a problem all week with his Achilles, and at 2-0 down you have to do something,” recognised Joyce.

“You know from what the staff are sort of saying about Yanic, that he’s not really completed many 90 minutes.

“He’s either been doing 60 minutes or 30 minutes, so if you’re looking for him to manage, you’re always thinking he’s going to play half a game somewhere.

“It was trying to plan it so he could make a big impact, when you’re maybe looking to win the game.

“Obviously when you’re 2-0 down after five minutes, it didn’t pan out like that.”