Wigan Athletic ‘killed our chances of fluidity’, claims Aston Villa boss

Josh Windass
Josh Windass

Aston Villa boss Dean Smith accused Wigan Athletic of slowing the game down and ‘buying’ the penalty that clinched their 3-0 win at the DW Stadium.

Latics were good value for the win - only their second in 15 matches - that takes them six points clear of the drop zone in the Championship.

Gary Roberts opened the scoring after 41 minutes, with fit-again Michael Jacobs adding the second 11 minutes from time.

Joe Garner added the third from the penalty spot with seven minutes remaining after Josh Windass had been tripped by Glenn Whelan in the box.

And Smith was a very unhappy bunny as he faced the media after the game.

“The first goal is a good goal, but we’ve had to defend a cross from 40 yards,” Smith assessed.

“The second goal is another cross from 40 yards, and we’re nowhere near it.

“It was no way a penalty at the end, but by that point the game’s over.

“The amount of times the ball went out of play and it took (time) to come back into play.

“The amount of times their forward (Joe Garner) went down...sometimes he got a free-kick, sometimes he didn’t.

“I just thought it killed any chance of us getting any fluidity in the game.

“We got frustrated with that and we gave away some stupid goals as a result.

“I’ll take the third one away, because it’s never a penalty.

“They’ve brushed backsides and their lad’s gone down - and the ref’s bought it.

“But he bought quite a few of them all game.”

Smith tried to shake things up by making a triple substitution not long after the restart, but even that failed to generate the necessary reaction from his side.

“We’ve tried to be a bit radical and make three changes to try and inject some energy into the game, and keep the ball in play,” he added.

“That shouldn’t be my job, that should be the referee’s job. But it didn’t work.

“We were 13/14 minutes into the second half and I think the ball had only been in play for four minutes.

“They were managing the game how they wanted to, they were 1-0 up and probably scared to keep the ball in play in case we came back into it.

“I thought they kept the ball well second half, but they also took a hell of a long time doing that.

“I told the players after the game this is the bottom of where I’ve been so far in my managerial career.

“And it should be the bottom of where Aston Villa is.

“Listen, I’m an Aston Villa fan, and to lose 3-0 two weeks on the spin is very, very disappointing.

“That performance was rubbish - it was very poor.

“And I’ve got to earn my money now and make sure it never happens again.”