Wigan Athletic fears allayed - “Nick seems fine!”

Nick Powell receives treatment
Nick Powell receives treatment

Leam Richardson revealed Nick Powell has avoided serious injury after having to be helped from the field during the closing stages of Wigan Athletic’s 2-0 victory over Gillingham.

With Latics comfortably in charge thanks to first-half goals from Will Grigg and Powell, the whole DW Stadium winced in fear when the former Manchester United man - stretching to connect with a late cross - appeared to collide with a post.

After treatment he was helped off the field, to be replaced by Jay Fulton, but Richardson says the decision was purely precautionary.

“He seems fine,” reported the Latics assistant manager, who was sent out for media duties by Paul Cook.

“He did get a whack just before, so we were half-thinking of making the change anyway.

“He’s lunged for the ball and jarred himself, but fingers crossed he’s fine.

“He got another goal and showed his class again.”

Like the rest of the Latics fans, Richardson was purring as he watched Latics pick up where they left off against West Ham last weekend to take the game to the Gills from the off.

“We knew it wouldn’t be easy coming up against Gillingham, who were on a great run, eight unbeaten,” he acknowledged.

“But I thought we started the first half tremendously well, in possession and transition we were very good.

“We moved the ball very well and deserved to be 2-0 up at half-time.

“We possibly could have had more goals, but we had to defend a lot more in the second half.

“We had to consolidate as a team, and defend from the front, because we were up against a good team who had plenty of threats on the pitch.

“It was obviously very pleasing to get the clean sheet, and the lads at the back take the credit for that.

“The work they put in at the training ground, they replicate on a Saturday and a Tuesday, and long may that continue.

“It’s clean sheets, it’s positivity, it’s resilience and it’s points on the board.”

The home fans also got their first look at January signings Jamie Walker and Jay Fulton off the bench in the second period.

“The new lads did well, just like the rest of the lads did,” added Richardson.

“I thought overall we were excellent, everyone had a criteria of what they had to do, and we stuck to it very well.

“We didn’t leave a breath out there, and that’s all you can ask.”