DAVID Perkins admits Wigan Athletic have to shut up shop on the road – or risk derailing their promotion push.
Latics are still smarting from their 3-2 reversal at Port Vale on Saturday, when a last-gasp winner from Uche Ikpeazu proved decisive.
It was the second week in a row Latics had battled back from two goals down in a five-goal thriller away from home, following on from their dramatic win at Chesterfield.
But with five goals conceded in the last two – and nine in their four away games to date – it’s clear where the problem lies.
“You can’t concede three goals and expect to win a game – you can’t even concede two and expect to win,” Perkins told the Evening Post.
“That’s what we’ll be looking at in training, because it wasn’t good enough again. We fought back well but, as the gaffer said to us, it was too little, too late.
“It’s easy to play when you’re 2-0 down and the pressure’s off. We need to start games as though we’re 2-0 down.We’re leaving ourselves with too much of a mountain to climb.”
Wigan’s cause wasn’t helped by the late dismissal of the unfortunate Leon Barnett for a professional foul, with the free-kick leading to Vale’s winner.
“The sending-off was big in the game,” Perkins added. “If Barney doesn’t get sent off we don’t lose. But we can defend the set-piece better. To concede twice to set-pieces is pretty poor.”
Latics, in 10th, host Fleetwood this Saturday.