Wigan Athletic boss reflects on Accrington Stanley stalemate

Leam Richardson was pleased to see his Wigan Athletic players come through unscathed after a very competitive pre-season 'friendly' at Accrington.

Three Latics players - Joe Bennett, Callum Lang and Tom Naylor - were on the receiving end of rather robust challenges in the first half of the 0-0 draw.

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Thankfully all were fine to continue, although the visitors couldn't make the most of their chances as they surrendered their 100 per cent record in pre-season.

Callum Lang is felled at AccringtonCallum Lang is felled at Accrington
Callum Lang is felled at Accrington
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For Richardson, though, it was another valuable brick in the wall.

"It's pre-season, you like to tick them off one by one, and the important thing is coming through healthy," he said.

"You expect that kind of stuff every time you come to Accrington, they're very well versed, they play the game hard, and they've also got some good players as well.

"You can see the club's come up at a rate of knots over the last years on and off the pitch - the infrastructure, the playing surface, the playing squad - and it's credit to John and his staff.

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"It's certainly no surprise when you get out there on the pitch and come up against some healthy challenges, but it's only going to stand us in good stead."

Latics have one more friendly - Saturday's visit of Sheffield Wednesday - before their Championship opener the following week against Preston, whose manager Ryan Lowe was in attendance at the Wham Stadium.

On the summer schedule so far, Richardson assessed: "You always want more.

"You always want to be more organised, fitter, have more numbers, because of the healthy challenges we've got coming up.

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"But Sheffield Wednesday will be one more test for us this weekend, and it'll be a really good marker based on the quality of player, manager and club we'll be facing."

It was apparent inside the first minute this was going to be a keenly-contested 'friendly', with Korede Adedoyin leaving one on Bennett.

The Latics man understandably took offence, and was pushed away by the Stanley man as play went on.

When the football began, it was all Latics, with Whatmough heading a Max Power corner against the bar from 12 yards.

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Lang was the next visiting player to be in the wars, with the Stanley bench outraged the referee opted to stop the game to allow him to be treated.

From the resulting free-kick, James McClean's 20-yarder forced a good save from Toby Savin.

McClean then sent over another corner from which Whatmough this time fired against the bar.

Naylor became the third Latics player to be clattered inside the opening half-hour, but he was okay to continue as well.

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The half ended with Will Keane weaving his way into the box, but his shot was just wide of the far post.

In truth, the second period wasn't much to write home about, with the raft of substitutions from both sides contributing to the stop-start nature of proceedings.

Charlie Hughes headed just wide in the last 10 minutes, but honours ended even.