WIGAN Athletic’s awful season continued with one of their worst performances yet, as Malky Mackay’s men went down 3-0 at Nottingham Forest.
There wasn’t a positive to speak of as Latics were totally played off the park at the City Ground, creating little of note and crumbling in defence and midfield.
The early warning signs couldn’t have flashed any brighter as Michail Antonio was allowed a free header from six yards in the opening four minutes.
This was followed by a penalty shout as Chris Burke looked to have been fouled by Andrew Taylor before Gary Gardner fired wide a few minutes later.
Mackay’s side struggled to cope with their strong and determined hosts who mounted wave after wave of pressure in the opening half hour, cut up by one Latics chance which saw Kim Bo-Kyung’s long range effort well saved by Karl Darlow.
That was about as good as it got though and Forest regained control almost immediately, getting even closer with Antonio’s well struck shot that had to be saved by Ali Al Habsi.
With little over 10 minutes to go before the break though, Dougie Freedman’s side had their deserved lead when a smart through ball from Burke found Britt Assombalonga who fired home with a neat finish.
The only real shining light from the first half was that it was only 1-0 as the two sides trudged off.
However, any hope Wigan had of getting back into the game was gone within 15 minutes of the re-start.
Forest immediately pumped up the pressure and should have doubled their lead within two minutes as Al Habsi did well to parry Henri Lansbury’s effort.
They continued to bombard the Latics goal for another five minutes before Antonio crossed a superb ball into the box for Burke to fire into the top corner.
And any doubt of what the result was going to be was put to bed just after the hour mark when Lansbury was allowed far too long on the edge of the box to curl a sweet effort into the corner of Al Habsi’s goal.
Latics continued to be passengers for the remainder of the game with the only real excitement coming from a Leon Clarke header that went wide.
Mackay did throw on newboys Billy Mckay and Sheyi Ojo as well as Martyn Waghorn but nothing changed as Wigan recorded their 16th defeat of the campaign, leaving them eight points behind safety with 16 games to go.
Forest: Darlow, Lichaj, Collins, Assombalonga (for Fryatt 67), Lansbury, Fox, Antonio (for Blackstock 86), Gardner, Hobbs, Burke (for Paterson 76), Osborn
Subs: Lascelles, Kane, Vaughan, De Vries
Latics: Al Habsi, Perch, Barnett, Ridgewell, Taylor, Cowie, Kvist, Herd (for Waghorn 63), Kim (for Ojo 54), McClean, Clarke (for McKay 87)
Subs: Carson, Pearce, Maguire, Fortune