Blackburn Rovers chief 'wasn't sure how Wigan Athletic would get through us'

Blackburn boss Tony Mowbray was at a loss to explain his side's 3-2 FA Cup exit at the hands of a Wigan Athletic side he was 'not sure knew how to get through us'.

By Paul Kendrick
Saturday, 8th January 2022, 8:51 pm
Blackburn goalkeeper Aynsley Pears can't keep out Jack Whatmough's header
Blackburn goalkeeper Aynsley Pears can't keep out Jack Whatmough's header

The visitors led through Reda Khadra's goal at the start of the second period, but a long-range strike from Max Power made its way past back-up goalkeeper Aynsley Pears just after the hour mark.

Pears was even more at fault 16 minutes from time when he caught a header from Jack Whatmough, before carrying it over his line to put Latics ahead.

And after Daniel Ayala levelled with two minutes to go, Pears had to pick the ball out of his net a third time - deep in stoppage-time - when Thelo Aasgaard beat him with a shot from way out on the left wing.

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Mowbray defended his decision to select Pears ahead of regular No.1 Thomas Kaminski, even though it ultimately proved decisive.

“Aynsley has played two and a half league games this season and kept clean sheets in those minutes on the pitch," said Mowbray.

“Because of Covid I felt it was important to give the number two goalie to play.

"You never know when Thomas (Kaminski) might catch Covid.

“It was an important position to change but ultimately it didn’t pan out well for us.

"You can’t legislate for those mistakes.

“We have to take it on the chin and move on very quickly.

“I am not sure Wigan knew how to get through us.

"We looked really solid, and I don’t remember them threatening our goal.

"Then we scored and I felt if we continued in the same mode we would go on and win the game.

“But it wasn’t to be.”

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