Wigan Athletic chief cites drop in 'fight, work-rate and effort'

Leam Richardson felt Wigan Athletic were lacking in 'fight, work-rate and effort' at Accrington - 'for the first time in a while'.

Saturday, 20th March 2021, 6:06 pm
Updated Saturday, 20th March 2021, 6:12 pm
Leam Richardson, flanked by Peter Murphy and Gregor Rioch

Latics slipped back into the League One relegation zone with 10 games to go, despite taking a first-minute lead through Callum Lang.

Goals from Cameron Burgess and Michael Nottingham had Accy in front before the 15-minute mark, and Dion Charles (penalty) made the game safe on the hour.

After a recent run of encouraging performances and results, Richardson felt his side took a huge step back at the Wham Stadium.

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"We've got to show more fight than we did today," he acknowledged.

"For the first time in a while we dropped below our standards, in terms of work-rate and effort, and we found ourselves on the wrong side of the result.

"I thought we started the game ever so well, obviously going a goal up so early.

"The big disappointment was that we ended up succumbing to exactly what we knew was coming.

"They're built off a solid base, there's a lot of physicality in there, and we gave them cheap free-kicks in dangerous positions.

"Two balls into our box, and suddenly we find ourselves 2-1 down, which was so disappointing.

"Without looking for excuses, I thought we could have had a penalty in the first half for a foul on Callum Lang, for a similar kind of incident which they got a penalty for in the second half.

"Would it have had a bearing on the result? Who knows.

"But it just adds to the overall feeling of disappointment all round."

Accrington's first two goals were further instances of Latics shooting themselves in the foot defensively, but Richardson refused to blame fatigue for the switching off.

"I don't want to make any excuses for that today," he added.

"I think it's something the lads and myself have got to take on the chin.

"For two balls to be going into your box for free headers or contacts...that's nothing to do with tiredness.

"Creativity and expression and forward-thinking and running and penetration etc, that's what tiredness can affect.

"I just felt if we had the same impetus and the same mindset as we showed in the last half-hour, we would have been in the game throughout.

"We just didn't do that, and that's why we fell on the wrong side of the result."

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