Wigan Athletic boss takes 'full responsibility' for Boro beating

Leam RichardsonLeam Richardson
Leam Richardson
Leam Richardson took 'full responsibility' for Wigan Athletic's 4-1 home defeat at the hands of struggling Middlesbrough - which he labelled 'as poor as we've been collectively - myself included'.

Despite taking the lead through Will Keane, Latics had been pegged back by half-time thanks to Isiah Jones' tap-in.

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And second-half efforts from Duncan Watmore, Hayden Hackney and Chuba Akpom secured a thumping win for Boro, who also hit the bar and had another 'goal' disallowed for offside.

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"It was a difficult night, exactly that," acknowledged the Latics boss.

"We've played a number of games now, where we've seen most of the levels of the Championship, and we know our challenges as a football club.

"We know if ever we drop below our standards as a football club, we get punished, and we got punished tonight.

"In the first half, I thought we gave as good we got, it was nip and tuck.

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"But their equaliser, just before half-time, was very disappointing from our point of view.

"From having a free-kick, and potentially going 2-0 up, we concede off a counter attack, with bad decision after bad decision.

"After not finishing the first half great, I thought the second half was as poor as we've been collectively - myself included.

"I take full responsibility for that - full responsibility.

"Any team selected by me, that gets a negative result, I will always take all the responsibility."

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Latics drop to 17th in the Championship but are still only five points off the play-off, and the same number of points above the drop-zone.

"I've been in this division before, as a player, a coach and now a manager," added Richardson.

"We knew in the summer what the challenges would be, and how we would make those small steps forward as a football club.

"One result, or a couple of results, doesn't change that.

"It's about taking those small steps forward, and we all know where we want to be in the football pyramid.

"It won't happen overnight, and we're always learning."

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Skipper Tendayi Darikwa went close for Latics when his long-range shot was touched on to the bar by Zach Steffen at full stretch.

But McClean's resulting corner was headed home by Keane 11 minutes before half-time.

Wigan were unable to hold on to the lead until the break, though, with Jack Whatmough failing to cut out a long ball down the left, and Watmore’s cross was finished well by Jones.

Boro almost went in front two minutes after the restart, when Darragh Lenihan's cross was headed against the bar by Watmore, with Keane booting away the loose ball from the goalline.

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They made sure with their next attack just four minutes later, Watmore battling through and toe-poking it past Amos.

Number three arrived just before the hour mark when Hayden Hackney beat Amos from 30 yards.

Latics sent on Graeme Shinnie, Callum Lang and Nathan Broadhead with 25 minutes to go.

But Boro were dominant and only an offside flag denied Matt Crooks.

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Latics couldn't keep dodging bullets, though, and Akpom made it 4-1 from the penalty spot midway through the second half.

And Latics' night was summed up when Lang limped off with what appeared to be a aggravation of the ankle injury from which he'd only just returned.