No time to feel sorry for ourselves - Joyce

Wigan Athletic players at Villa Park
Wigan Athletic players at Villa Park

Warren Joyce insists his Wigan Athletic players simply cannot afford to feel sorry for themselves as they attempt to stop the rot.

Latics remain second-bottom of the Championship after Saturday’s 1-0 defeat at Aston Villa.

It looked like the visitors would hold on for a precious point after a real backs-to-the-wall performance, only for Jack Grealish to pop up with an 89th-minute winner.

At the other end of the field, it was a familiar tale with Latics not having a single shot on goal, and failing to score for the fourth time in five outings under Joyce.

The manager, though, remains bullish and optimistic despite a home game against table-topping Newcastle to come on Wednesday.

“The dressing room was down after the game, but you can’t allow them to be like that,” he told the Evening Post.

“We’ve got to roll up our sleeves and get on with it.

“We’ve had a few kicks in the teeth already - Derby was another one - but we’ve got to stay resilient.

“The time to worry is when we stop having a go, and we’re not trying absolutely flat out.

“I don’t think I could ask any more from the guys.”

Joyce actually believes the visit of Newcastle could work in his side’s favour.

“Every game’s a tough game, but that’s what we want,” he revealed.

“We want to test ourselves against the top teams, the top players, and see how we do.

“I thought we were more than a match for Villa.

“But we can’t feel sorry for ourselves, we’ve got to dust ourselves down and get ready for Newcastle.

“As long as we approach it in the right way, keep working hard, keep being brave, keep playing football, that’s all we can do.

“If you look at it, we only lost one point at Villa, because on 88 minutes we’d only got one point.

“Single points add up over the course of a season, but the reality is it’s just one point.

“It’s not all doom and gloom, it’s one point, in a tough game, against a massive club.”

Joyce is waiting to find out the extent of Reece Burke’s hip injury, which flared up again at the weekend, necessitating his half-time substitution.

“We won’t know how badly until early in the week,” added the Latics chief.