Perch header seals terrific battling win in Germany.
- Latics see out pre-season with win.
- James Perch grabs goal in 1-0 victory.
- A good test v Bundesliga side Paderborn.
SC PADERBORN 0
WIGAN ATHLETIC 1
James Perch’s first half header was enough to separate the sides in a hard fought match at the Benteler Arena against newly promoted Bundesliga outfit SC Paderborn.
The goal came following a James Tavernier corner, Paderborn failed to clear the ball properly and last season’s Player of The Season rose to nod the ball past Lukas Kruse in the Germans’ goal from close in.
Uwe Rosler called for a longer spell of pressing than we saw in Dusseldorf last Saturday and that’s precisely what he got. The returning James McArthur’s presence in central midfield was a big boost, as was the performance of new boy Don Cowie, the energy those two displayed seemed to spread throughout the team and for the best part of an hour, Latics were totally in charge.
Oriol Riera looks a real threat, his back-to-goal play is excellent, as is his running off the ball and his partnership with Callum McManaman is an exciting prospect. But a pleasing aspect here for Rosler will be the way his team nullified the threat of an excellent German side, full of movement and trickery, refusing to lower the work rate in the final stages and coming away with a morale-boosting victory on German soil.
Scott Carson was called upon to make a couple of excellent second half saves, first from SC captain Uwe Hunermeister with a terrific lunge with his feet, before spreading himself to deny Moritz Stoppelkamp late on from point blank range.
In truth, Paderborn were not able to fashion that many other opportunities, despite having the majority of possession in the final 20 minutes and Latics frustrated them into trying shots from distance.
By then, however, Rosler decided to ring the changes, with Roger Espinoza, Mar Antoine Fortune, Gary Caldwell, Fraser Fyvie, Leon Barnett, Aaron Taylor-Sinclair and Tim Chow all being given some match minutes and the performance lost its fluidity.
Paderborn similarly made numerous changes but kept on pressing, not wanting to lose a game in front of their own spectators, and Latics were forced to dig deep in the final minutes.
So the pre-season campaign finishes on a high note, and the team can travel back to Wigan with a real spring in their step in readiness for next week big kick off against Reading.
Paderborn: Kruse, Hunemeier, Bakalorz (Rupp 64), Wemmer (Saglik 64), Vrancic, Kutschke (Bruckner 64), Stoppelkamp, Strohdiek, Vucinovic (Heinloth 64), Hartherz (Ouali 64), Ducksch (Ziegler 45)
Latics: Carson, Tavernier (Espinoza 57), Taylor (Taylor-Sinclair 70), Riera, McManaman (Fortune 62), McArthur (Fyvie 74), Boyce, Cowie (Chow 84), Perch, Kiernan (Barnett 70), Waghorn (Caldwell 84)
Unused Subs: Al Habsi, Ramis, Rogne, Jennings