Wigan Athletic boss both disappointed and relieved after Birmingham draw

Shaun Maloney admitted his Wigan Athletic side 'rode our luck' at times against Birmingham City - but admitted he was 'disappointed' not to win the game.
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Latics fell behind inside four minutes at the DW as Juninho Bacuna curled a brilliant free-kick over the wall and past Ben Amos.

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REPORT; Wigan Athletic 1 Birmingham City 1

However, Latics were much better after the break - boosted by the half-time introduction of Will Keane - and equalised through Ashley Fletcher on the hour mark.

Charlie Hughes congratulates Ashley Fletcher for his goal against BirminghamCharlie Hughes congratulates Ashley Fletcher for his goal against Birmingham
Charlie Hughes congratulates Ashley Fletcher for his goal against Birmingham
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Birmingham then hit the same post three times in the space of three minutes midway through the second period

After Ryan Nyambe had been harshly penalised for bringing down Bacuna in the box, perhaps justice was done as Scott Hogan saw his spot-kick come back off the woodwork.

Then Tahith Chong's shot and Maxime Colin's header hit the same post as Latics held on, before Keane fired into the side-netting towards the end.

"I think it's quite a hard game to sum up," said Maloney. "They scored an amazing free-kick, and then had a crazy three-minute spell in that second half where they hit the woodwork three times.

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"But apart from that, the way the game went, I'm maybe a little bit disappointed we didn't win the game, although I know we rode our luck at times.

"We made the change at half-time, we wanted to be more aggressive in terms of the position of our players, and that suited Will Keane to come on.

"And you could see the dynamic of the game as soon as they scored - they gave us the ball, and it was up to us to break them down.

"That's not a game we've had for the five games since I've been here, so I was actually pleased with how the team played, considering the way the opposition played.

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"They tried to kill the game, which is understandable, but I was pleased with the way we stuck at it right to the death."

It was the second week in a row Latics had conceded a spot-kick in contentious fashion, after Preston were gifted a way back into the derby last week.

"I haven't seen it back, but I spoke to Ryan, and he said it was soft, again," added Maloney.

"Look, we're getting a little bit of bad luck with penalty decisions.

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"But we're also maybe getting a little bit of good luck with the woodwork being hit today, so hopefully the good will outweigh the bad in the run-in."

Maloney also explained the surprise absence of livewire Callum Lang from the matchday 18.

"He got a knock on his thigh, a dead-leg type of injury, quite a bad one,” the Latics boss added.

"He'll be touch and go about whether he'll be able to play on Tuesday."

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There was better news concerning defender Omar Rekik and forward Josh Magennis

Rekik made his first appearance since pulling up lame on his debut at Blackburn on February 6, while Magennis made a late cameo off the bench for his first outing since January 21.

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