'˜Immense character and personality' behind Wigan Athletic recovery!
First-team coach Anthony Barry hailed the '˜immense character and personality' in the Wigan Athletic squad that allowed them to secure a precious point at Blackburn.
Two Rovers goals inside the opening 17 minutes gave Latics a mountain to climb at Ewood Park in a top-of-the-table clash.
But the visitors came on strong in the second, and a Michael Jacobs shot that hit Will Grigg on its way in gave them hope just after the hour mark.
And the recovery was complete 17 minutes to go when a Max Power free-kick from the left-hand touchline somehow made its way in at the far post.
“I thought it was an end to end game, and overall a just result,” said Barry, sent up for media duties by boss Paul Cook.
“They got goals at important times in the first half, but our lads have showed immense character and personality to fight back.
“We trust our lads a lot, but when you go 2-0 down you’re always going to be concerned.
“Our squad is very good and we always knew we could get back in the game.
“We couldn’t really get our passing game going, while the pitch suited Blackburn’s style of play a bit more.
“We couldn’t get the down down like we normally do, and we had to make substitutions to try and adapt.
“We certainly came here to win, we set up to try and hurt Blackburn.
“The two goals obviously put us on the back foot, but we obviously have to be happy with a point.”
The game threatened to spill over more than once, with referee Geoff Eltringham gradually losing whatever control he had of the game by the minute with some bizarre officiating.
“It’s a derby game and you expect those kind of challenges,” assessed Barry.
“There were things being pulled up for fouls that perhaps shouldn’t have been, and on the flip side there were challenges that weren’t be treated harshly enough.
“These games are tough to referee, but I don’t think it spoiled the game in any way.
“It was a great advert for League One - two great clubs with two great fanbases.
“On a day where there’s not much football happening the fans up and down the country should have enjoyed it.
The result means Latics stay six points behind Rovers, with FOUR games in hand, with second-placed Shrewsbury - a point ahead of Latics, having played two games more - also in the equation.
“I think Blackburn have to still be favourites at the end of the day,” added Barry.
“We’ve obviously got four games in hand, and we know we’ve got the quality in the dressing room to cope.”