Wigan Athletic boss on Joe Bennett substitution and Joe Williams incidents

Leam Richardson opened up on his decision to substitute Joe Bennett midway through Wigan Athletic's 1-1 draw with Bristol City.

The left-back didn't reappear for the second period at the DW, with Thelo Aasgaard coming on in his place, and James McClean dropping into the back four.

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Richardson admitted it was a tactical call, after the defender was involved in a skirmish with former Latics man Joe Williams just before the break, when he wa shown the yellow card.

Leam Richardson

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"I thought with the game panning out the way it was, it was the right decision," said the Latics boss.

"It was very much a counter-attacking game, and when somebody's on a yellow card, with the heat and everything else to consider, you try and make proactive decisions.

"Obviously with having no wide players to deal with, it was a tactical switch we could make where the full-backs could have that extra bit of space.

"Having James at full-back and Thelo on the left gave us that extra bit of impetus, and it helped us be even more positive in the second half."

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Bennett can probably consider himself very fortunate to have escaped a straight red card, after kicking out at Williams after the pair both went to ground.

Richardson, though, was keen not to make too much of it.

When asked whether Bennett was fortunate to stay on the field, he smiled: "When you saw Joe Williams throw himself on the floor three or four times after that probably not, no!"

Williams assumed the role of pantomime villain on his first return to the DW since leaving in the summer of 2020 following administration.

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He also clashed with James McClean, both during and in the immediate aftermath of the game.

"I've worked with both of them...both very emotional characters, both desperate to win for themselves and the team," added Richardson.

"And I think that's all that it was, a desire to do well and help their team.

"They're both very similar...you just need to try and keep them both apart..."

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Latics fully deserved their point at the DW with Will Keane equalising midway through the second half after Andi Weimann opened the scoring inside six minutes.