Bristol City chief insists Wigan Athletic will stay up

Bristol City boss Nigel Pearson believes Wigan Athletic 'will be fine' in their fight to stay in the Championship.
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Latics held the in-form Robins at Ashton Gate on Wednesday night, Ashley Fletcher's first goal in two years off Max Power's cross cancelling out Rob Atkinson's opener.

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City twice hit the woodwork in the second period, although Christ Tiehi also fired against the bar for Latics in the first half.

Jack Whatmough gets stuck in during a scrappy game against Bristol CityJack Whatmough gets stuck in during a scrappy game against Bristol City
Jack Whatmough gets stuck in during a scrappy game against Bristol City
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And although the visitors had more efforts on goal and corners than their hosts, Pearson was 'disappointed' his men couldn't break down a determined Latics rearguard.

"I'm disappointed we didn't win the game," he said. "The goal we conceded was scruffy, not the best ball ever, but it made its way into the back of the net.

"I thought we responded pretty well, and the only side that was going to win it was us.

"It wasn't the best game ever, but they are a side that is scrapping, and need to be organised and make the game difficult for their opponents.

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"I thought we were the better side but we didn't do enough to win the game."

Pearson acknowledged Latics had posed a big threat from set-pieces, with Power and James McClean sending some quality balls into the box.

"They didn't really create anything during the game - let's put it like that," he said.

"But they were dangerous from set-plays, and we gave too many set-plays away.

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"The game wasn't a particularly good game in terms of excitement.

"It was quite dour, they were here to make it difficult for us, and they did.

"It wasn't the best game ever, because they sat deep, and tried to create goal scoring opportunities through set-plays.

"And fair play to them...if I was in their situation, I'd be doing the same thing. I'd be making it ugly."

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On his side's inability to break down Shaun Maloney's men, Pearson added: "Wigan didn't really give us any space in behind.

"We knew that in transition, if we could play quickly against them, they can be all over the place.

"But they obviously gave us a lot of respect and didn't want to do that very often.

"It became a set-play game, and they were playing set-plays.

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"They got quite a few, and they're good...their delivery from set-plays is very, very good.

"It was the kind of game I was expecting it to be, not particularly open or flowing, and not end-to-end.

"If it had been an end-to-end game, we'd have won it."

Pearson also feels Latics showed enough to suggest they will be a second-tier side again next term.

"Wigan will be fine, they'll be fine," he added. "There's five teams worse than them.

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"And they are a decent side to be fair, a decent squad. They'll be fine."

Latics remain third-bottom of the Championship, now two points ahead of Huddersfield and Blackpool, who both lost in midweek.

They can climb out of the drop zone for the first time in months if they beat Norwich at the DW this weekend – and other results go their way.