WIGAN Athletic slipped to a disappointing 3-0 defeat at Blackburn in their final pre-season friendly of the summer.
Having dominated the first half without converting it into goals, the visitors paid the penalty after the break when the home side took over.
Substitute goalkeeper Lee Nicholls made a brilliant save to deny Rovers’ star striker Jordan Rhodes the opening goal shortly after the restart.
But Nicholls had no answer when Willem Tomlinson took aim from 30 yards and found the bottom corner of the net on 74 minutes.
Rovers doubled their advantage nine minutes later when Craig Conway’s corner was nodded home too easily by Grant Hanley.
And Ben Marshall gave the scoreline a somewhat lop-sided look with a magnificent strike into the top corner in the dying seconds.
The closest Latics came to a response was a late free-kick from Max Power that was touched over the top by the Blackburn goalkeeper.
Boss Gary Caldwell was ‘disappointed’ with the result, which he felt flattered the home side.
“I was disappointed to lose again but I was very happy with a lot of things in the game,” Caldwell said.
“And I’m sure when we look back on it there’ll be a lot of positives to take from it.
“Without a doubt 3-0 flattered Blackburn, and I think they would admit to that.
“But as I said to the players after, we’re playing for points next week and we can’t allow that to happen again.
“We have to stand up to that test late in the game when it gets physically demanding, we have to be better than that.”
Latics (3-4-2-1): O’Donnell; Daniels, Morgan, McCann; Kenny, Perkins, Francisco, James; Jacobs, Power; Grigg.
Subs: Nicholls (for O’Donnell, 46), McNaughton (for Kenny, 84), Taylor (for McCann, 46), Barnett (for Daniels, 66), Odelusi (for Grigg, 84), Flores (for James, 84), Jennings (for Francisco, 84), Davies (for Jacobs, 62), Mckay.
Blackburn: Raya; Henley, Lowe, Hanley, Olsson; Guthrie, Marshall, Conway, Duffy; Maynard, Rhodes.
Subs: Steele, Spurr, Nyambe, Delfouneso, Tomlinson, Kilgallon, Koita, O’Sullivan, Forrester, Petshi.