Wigan Athletic skipper's relief after 'very emotional week'

Skipper Tendayi Darikwa was both relieved and delighted to end a 'very emotional week' for Wigan Athletic on a high.
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Latics beat Blackpool 2-1 at the DW Stadium, just over 48 hours after Leam Richardson was relieved of his duties as manager.

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Wigan Athletic caretaker boss reacts to Blackpool triumph

With Rob Kelly stepping up from assistant manager, Latics overcame the blow of Gary Madine's fierce strike which gave the visitors a half-time lead.

Skipper Tendayi Darikwa gets stuck in against BlackpoolSkipper Tendayi Darikwa gets stuck in against Blackpool
Skipper Tendayi Darikwa gets stuck in against Blackpool
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Blackpool deserved their lead, despite playing from the 17th minute with 10 men after captain Marvin Ekpiteta was red-carded for a last-man foul on Charlie Wyke.

But the home side came out firing in the second half, and levelled nine minutes after the restart when James McClean's inswinging corner somehow found its way into the net.

And Latics got their rewards for a fine response when Darikwa's cross was nodded home by ex-Blackpool defender Curtis Tilt with seconds remaining.

The victory ended a seven-game winless run, and sends Latics into the World Cup break on a high.

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"We work hard every day on the training ground, and you don't turn up on a matchday to lose," recognised Darikwa.

"The last few days have been very emotional for us as a squad.

"Obviously things happened upstairs which were out of our control.

"All we can do is focus on what happens on the pitch, and hopefully we sent the fans home happy.

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"I thought the fans really gave us a lift when we needed it and stuck with us.

"Weeks like this are very emotional for everyone connected with a football club.

“They kept with us, as they always do, and hopefully they are proud and happy."

Latics leapfrogged Blackpool into 22nd spot, but with mid-table now within touching distance.

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“It was important to get the three points after the run we’ve been on," added Darikwa.

“It was massive for us to go out there, and show some intent to win the game.

“We’ve been on a poor run, we know that ourselves.

"But we’ve been working hard each and every day to get the three points, even more so in a local derby.

"It's not easy to break down 10 men - especially when they have something to cling on to.

"We kept working, we kept plugging away, and thankfully we managed to get the goals in the end."