Paul Cook revealed a half-time kick up the backside was required to ensure his Wigan Athletic side got what they wanted out of Saturday’s friendly at League Two outfit Bradford.
Latics trailed 1-0 at the break to a 36th-minute penalty from James Vaughan, who joined the Bantams last month after seeing out his contract at the DW.
That was cancelled out by Anthony Pilkington’s effort within seconds of the restart.
And the Latics boss admits the players had been sent out for the second period with a flea in their collective ears.
“We had a little bit of a go at the lads at half time, because we had fans travel over for the game and they don’t want to see us look laboured, leggy and like the game means nothing,” said Cook.
“If it’s going to be that way, we might as well play behind closed doors.
“We started with much more intent in the second half.
“It was a very good goal from Pilks – and probably the first time we really attacked them through the middle, so there’s a message to that one I suppose.
“We’re getting there slowly but surely and a lot of the lads got 60 minutes again.”
Next up for Latics is Wednesday’s visit of Everton, before Burnley visit the DW next Saturday to conclude the pre-season programme.
“Wednesday’s a great game for us,” said Cook. “Everton are a very strong club with some great players.
“They’ve got international footballers for us to pit ourselves against, so let’s see how we do.”
“Then it’s Burnley on Saturday as for our final preparation game, so the games are getting tougher, that’s for sure.
“But there’s only one game that we’re working towards – and that’s the Cardiff City game on the opening day of the season.”