Sanity needed 'sooner rather than later' - Wigan Athletic chief

Leam Richardson has called for 'sanity to be brought to the group' via a successful resolution to Wigan Athletic's ownership issues.

Joe Garner gets the congratulations after putting Latics ahead at Fleetwood
Joe Garner gets the congratulations after putting Latics ahead at Fleetwood

With the administrators seemingly no closer to finding a buyer, Latics kicked off their campaign with a 3-2 Carabao Cup first-round defeat at Fleetwood.

Despite leading 2-0 after half-an-hour thanks to a brace from stand-in skipper Joe Garner, Latics couldn't hold on as Ched Evans (2) and Josh Morris sent Fleetwood into round two.

But the result clearly pales into insignificance given events off the field that will decide the future of the club.

"Fingers crossed the situation can be sorted out sooner rather than later," Richardson recognised.

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"Because some sanity needs to be brought to the group."

On the game, he said: "I thought we started the game ever so well, going 2-0 up and having a few good chances to make it even healthier in our favour.

"They nicked one before half-time, and it gave them a lift, a bit of momentum.

"I thought there was nothing much in the game in the second half, it too-ed and fro-ed a bit, but fair play to them.

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"It made for a very good game of football, and we're disappointed to come out on the wrong end."

The Latics squad bore little or no resemblance to that which ended last season just over six weeks ago, with several academy products lining up alongside new signings Viv Solomon-Otabor and Danny Gardner .

"There's a few lads who've come off their sofas to join in with training, and landed short-term deals," Richardson added.

"We'll see how the landscape looks in a couple of weeks, who knows.

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"But fair play to them, they've put their boots on and gone out there for Wigan Athletic and given good accounts of themselves.

"I said right from the start, when I took on the job, that I would treat the lads with respect, as long as they gave it back with hard work and focus.

"They've been that to the utmost, and I've got to compliment the group and the staff, for working tirelessly in the situation we're in to try, to bring a positive outcome whatever that may be."

On star man Garner, who drilled home the opener before slotting home a clinical penalty, Richardson added: "He'll be disappointed he didn't get three, because he had another chance straight after.

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"But again he's a professional, he wants to win, and you can see that out there on the pitch."