Whitney: That’s why Wigan are favourites

Jon Whitney with Paul Cook
Jon Whitney with Paul Cook

Jon Whitney admitted his Walsall side had been outclassed by a Wigan Athletic side who underlined their League One promotion credentials.

A goal in either half from Will Grigg, the second one a penalty, was enough to give Latics a 2-0 victory to cement their position in second spot.

And Whitney, a former Latics player, could not argue with the result in the slightest.

“We were beaten by the better team,” acknowledged Whitney. “That’s why they’re one of the favourites.

“If you don’t retain the ball, we know they’re a threat, which is why they’re in the top two.

“They’ve got threats all over the pitch. We didn’t contain them well enough.

“I thought we were getting on top of the game after the first five minutes, and their goal was after probably a period of perhaps 15 to 20 minutes when we were actually keeping it really well - and then you get hit with that goal.

“The response wasn’t great, and we can’t hide away from the fact.

“We can’t concede another penalty at that time of the game as well. It kills you.

“You’re not going to come here 2-0 down and keep coming back from goals behind like that.

“I’m not going to come here now and let emotion take control. I think they’re a better team today.

“The timing of the goals, they take them, and that’s why they’re big spenders in this league, and they pay the money they do because, they get players who take their chances.”

The killer second goal came from the penalty spot, after Grigg - who’d been sent clear by Nick Powell - was cleaned out by James Wilson.

One of two of the Walsall players felt aggrieved at the call, but Whitney thought the referee got it spot on.

“I thought it was a penalty,” he added. “I thought there were a few errors before it, which we’ll look at, and we’ll look at the build up to putting him in the position to have to make that tackle.

“That’s the important thing for us as coaches and we’ll look at it. We’ll deal with that this week.”