Wigan Athletic boss reacts to FA Cup KO at Stoke City

Leam Richardson was typically pragmatic after watching his Wigan Athletic side bow out of the FA Cup at Championship side Stoke City.

By Paul Kendrick
Saturday, 5th February 2022, 6:04 pm
Updated Saturday, 5th February 2022, 6:06 pm

Goals in either half from Josh Maja - after a crucial slip from Jason Kerr - and Jacob Brown on the counter saw Latics' unbeaten record in all competitions end at 20 matches.

A second yellow card for Gwion Edwards prevented Latics mounting their usual late rally.

But result aside, Richardson was relatively satisfied with what he saw.

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Josh Maja takes advantage of Jason Kerr's slip to put Stoke ahead

"I thought we possibly shaded the first half," he said. "But the game was won and lost in both boxes.

"You can see the calibre of players Stoke have on the field, but while it was 11 against 11 it was extremely competitive.

"The first goal is an unfortunate slip, and you're always up against it with 10 men, but we stuck at it and didn't leave anything out there.

"Considering we had nine changes, two players making their debut, the group not having trained much together, I thought there were a lot of positives."

Among those positives were debuts for midfielder Glen Rea and forward Jamie McGrath, who only arrived at the beginning of the week.

"The two lads have already been imposing figures in the dressing room for the short time they've been here," said the Latics boss.

"I thought they both performed well first up, and I'm sure they'll prove to be important parts of our squad moving forward.

"To only have had a couple of days training with the group, I thought they impressed on their first appearances."

Richardson also refused to make too much of the late dismissal of Edwards, who knew his fate long before the red card was eventually brandished.

"Gwion's an experienced player, and he'll be as disappointed as anyone to come off like that," said Richardson.

"It looked like a tired recovery run, as they looked to break forward.

"Having already been booked, you can't really leave the ground like that.

"There was no malice involved whatsoever, but it's probably the first one he'll feel was avoidable.

"We'll pick him up and he'll be fine."

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