Perch: Hard to come to terms with defeat

James Perch scores against QPR
James Perch scores against QPR

JAMES Perch admits Wigan Athletic’s play-off heartache will take some getting over.

Latics fell at the penultimate hurdle on Monday night to Harry Redknapp’s QPR – the 62nd game of a quite incredible campaign.

Perch had given the visitors a priceless lead at Loftus Road before Charlie Austin’s double denied them a fifth trip to Wembley inside 13 months.

It was a third defeat in the play-offs for Perch, having twice come up short during his time at Nottingham Forest.

And the 28-year-old says Wigan’s exit is as bitter a pill to swallow as he’s had.

“It’s hard to put something like this into words, I’m speechless really,” Perch told the Evening Post.

“I’ve been knocked out at this stage of the play-offs before so I know what it feels like – and it’s not pleasant.

“It’s certainly on a par with losing in the FA Cup semi-final.

“That was right at the end as well. But it’s something you have to deal with and we’ll have to make sure we do that.”

It’s going to be a long summer for Perch and his colleague, who had been among the promotion favourites last summer but were always playing catch up after a below-par start.

Even getting into the play-offs was an achievement having been in 15th spot in mid-December, when Uwe Rosler took over following the departure of Owen Coyle.

And after a campaign that also saw them reach the FA Cup semi-finals as well as experience European football, Perch is looking forward to some down-time for the first time in 10 months.

“The only thing you can do is completely switch off from football for a while,” he acknowledged.

“There’s nothing we can do now about’s happened, and I’ve learnt over the years that the best thing is to just forget about it and move on.

“If you don’t it would be eating away at you for weeks and weeks and that’s no good for anyone.

“I still think overall we did well over the course of the season – especially since the new gaffer came in.

“We had a good cup run, we had Europe when we should have got through to the group stages, and then the play-offs as well.

“I think we’re all looking forward to having a full pre-season with the gaffer and going again next year.”

Jean Beausejour has been named in the provisional Chile World Cup squad.

Latics have three representatives in the tournament in total with Roger Espinoza and Jean Carlos Garcia’s inclusion in the Honduras squad.