OWEN Coyle admitted his Wigan Athletic side let themselves down after being deservedly defeated at Leicester.
Latics created hardly anything in the way of decent chances at the King Power Stadium, as goals in either half from Liam Moore and David Nugent sealed their fate.
The Wigan boss tried his best to rouse his troops into action, making all three of his substitutions by the hour mark.
But the expected response never materialised as Latics slipped to their second league loss of the campaign.
It was hardly the ideal preparation for Wigan’s historic first-ever European tie on Thursday against Zulte Waregem of Belgium.
But of more pressing concern for Coyle was an across-the-board no-show, with only ‘three or four’ players doing themselves justice,
“We came into the game on the back of a terrific performance against Nottingham Forest looking for three points, but we did not play as well as we can,” Coyle recognised.
“There were only three or four players with plus marks, when you need seven or eight.
“If I could have used all six outfield substitutes, I would have done.
“You have to earn your results at this level, and for me we didn’t do enough to reach the standards we know we’re capable of.
“To have three or four players performing to a decent level is just not enough.” Despite having so many players below their best, Latics were only put out of their misery when Nugent beat Scott Carson from the penalty spot with nine minutes remaining.
“We looked better in the second half and looked to be the team in the ascendency before the penalty was awarded,” the Wigan chief reflected.
“There are lessons to learn for all the players – we can’t just expect to turn up, walk onto the pitch and wait for things to happen for us.
“But this league is about 46 games, not six, and we will get better.
“It was a frustrating day but there’s still a lot for us to look forward to.”
On the plus side, Coyle reported no fresh injury worries ahead of the trip to Belgium.
With the games coming thick and fast, he could elect to shuffle his pack for Wigan’s first-ever match in Europe, with the likes of James McArthur, Callum McManaman and Chris McCann, as well as new-boys Nick Powell and Ryan Shotton, champing at the bit for an opportunity.