Wigan Athletic boss reflects on Preston North End draw

Leam Richardson felt Wigan Athletic were hampered, rather than helped, by the late sending-off of Ched Evans in the 0-0 draw against Preston North End at the DW.

By Paul Kendrick
Saturday, 30th July 2022, 6:16 pm

The League One champions gave a good account of themselves on their Championship return, but were forced to settle for a point on opening day.

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REPORT: Wigan Athletic 0 Preston North End 0

North End actually created the better chances, with Ben Amos pulling off a stupendous double save on half-time to deny Troy Parrott and Emil Riis, who hit the bar from the resulting corner.

Leam Richardson faces the media

Latics did most of the pushing after the break, but were unable to push home their advantage - even after Evans was red-carded 10 minutes from time for a two-footed lunge on a grounded Curtis Tilt.

When asked whether he was disappointed his side hadn't forced a late winner, Richardson said: "I think you're always going to think that after a game, aren't you?

"I certainly don't think the sending-off helped us in the closing stages.

"Looking at the first half, I thought they probably shaded it with the couple of chances they created right at the end.

"But in the second half, I thought we came into it more, and when it was 11 against 11 we were pushing up and creating spaces.

"After the sending off, they were able to drop that extra 10 yards, denying us that space, and we have to be better in moving the ball around.

"On reflection, a clean sheet, a point on the board, with the same team that won us promotion, I think these lads have done great.

"It was everything we expected and more from the day, a big derby on the opening weekend.

"The crowd would have enjoyed it, I thought the pace of the game was excellent, and the players all gave a good account of themselves.

On Amos' intervention right on half-time, Richardson said: "Obviously when the game finishes 0-0, a great save is as good as a goal.

"The concentration levels he showed is exactly what you want from a goalkeeper.

"But I think you could see Preston is a really strong football club.

"I don't speak for Ryan, obviously, but I'm sure they'll have aspirations themselves of getting into the top six this year.”