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Latics earned their win ‘the hard way’ - Richardson

Nick Powell gets stuck in at Wimbledon
Nick Powell gets stuck in at Wimbledon

Assistant manager Leam Richardson insisted Wigan Athletic earned their 4-0 victory at AFC Wimbledon the hard way despite the result looking very comfortable on paper.

Second-half goals from Michael Jacobs, Nick Powell and substitutes Max Power and Ivan Toney did for Wimbledon, for whom Harry Forrester was sent off just after the hour mark.

The win ensures Latics stay four points clear at the top of League One - and take the coveted Christmas No.1 spot!

But Richardson said the platform for the win was laid in the first half before the side’s undoubted quality came to the fore.

“We had to work hard for it,” Richardson acknowledged.

“You’re never going to come to the likes of Wimbledon and get an easy result.

“They’re very well drilled and they’ve got some very good players themselves.

“We had to work every inch of the way and I thought, especially out of possession, the lads did that.

“Obviously when they went down to 10 men the lads grew in confidence, but we were good value for the win.

“We’re ticking most boxes at the moment, and all we can do is compliment the lads for what they’re doing.

“But it’s still early in the season, and we’re just looking to get through the Christmas period unscathed and with points on the board.”

Richardson also pointed to the four different scorers as proof that Wigan’s success this season is based on a collective, rather than individual, achievement.

“It’s great to be sharing the goals around, it only helps the confidence in the squad,” he said.

“We believe in all of the lads - we believe they can all play.

“Sometimes it’s so hard to even pick a bench, because there’s so much quality to choose from.

“It’s our job to manage individuals, and also the collective group.

“If you create the right kind of work ethic, and the right kind of environment, it will lead to good performances and good results.

“The lads are enjoying coming to work every day and long may that continue.”

Latics now have 48 points from their 21 matches played, which has them on course to smash the 100-point mark over the campaign.

Richardson, though, is not thinking too far ahead.

“We don’t do targets - that can only lead to complacency or disappointment,” he added.

“The only aim is to try and get promoted at the end of the season.”