Wigan Athletic: Five things we learned from Bristol City (h)

Kieran Dowell on his home debut for Latics
Kieran Dowell on his home debut for Latics

Paul Kendrick reflects on five talking points from Wigan Athletic's 2-0 home defeat at the hands of Bristol City...


1 No end product again. For an hour, Latics huffed and puffed, dominating in terms of possession and territory, without ever really looking like having the guile or craft to break down the Bristol City door. Paul Cook then went all in by withdrawing Josh Windass and Joe Williams, in favour of Joe Garner and Joe Gelhardt, but the move backfired as the visitors came on strong and took the spoils. Latics look a more fluid side with Windass as the lone pivot, but being the lowest goalscorers in the division (24 from 27 games - Luton have 33 and Barnsley 35) tells its own story.

2 Voting with feet. Saturday's crowd of 9,074 included only 8,401 home supporters. And with all clubs counting all season-card holders in the attendance figure, the real number of Wiganers inside the stadium was much lower. There's no getting away from it: Latics are a tough watch at the minute. But the team needs the supporters more than ever as they try to turn things around. With the ground only a third full, the atmosphere will inevitably suffer. But there's not much happening on the pitch at the moment to capture the imagination - or bring back the stay-aways.

3 That said... Despite only one win in the last 15 matches, Latics are still only two points adrift of safety. At the hour mark on Saturday, a Latics goal - which seemed far more like than a Bristol City one - would have seen them climb out of the bottom three, to within two points of sixth-bottom Charlton. Even though Paul Cook's men are struggling desperately, the equal ineptitude of the other sides at the bottom to put together results means the relegation dogfight is tighter than a submarine door. Latics can't rely on that being the case for the rest of the campaign. They need to seize control of their own destiny - and fast.

4 Dowell the new Powell? A week after his debut at Leicester, Kieran Dowell was handed his league (and home) bow and showed some nice touches. He linked up well down the left with Antonee Robinson - a partnership honed in the Everton Academy - put some decent deliveries into the box and looks to have a decent shot on him. Latics have lacked creativity since losing talisman Nick Powell last summer. Hopefully Dowell can step into the breach once he fully finds his feet.

5 No Moore to come from Kieffer? Paul Cook confirmed after the game Latics had rejected a bid from Cardiff City for striker Kieffer Moore. Since joining from Barnsley five months ago, Moore has scored only one goal from open play - but has also established himself as Wales' first-choice No.9 ahead off the Euros. It would take much more than the £2.75million Latics shelled out to Barnsley, who would be due a sell-on, to take him to South Wales. But Cardiff are armed with Premier League parachute payments - and desperate to return to the top flight. And the cash would allow Cook to bolster his squad for the run-in. Big decision time.