Boss gives honest assessment after the Millers take three points from the DW.
- We let ourselves down with the goals we conceded – Mackay.
- Nothing else for it but to work as hard as ever ahead of Leeds.
- We’re doing our utmost to turn things around and make the fans proud.
Latics boss Malky Mackay gave an honest assessment of his side’s defeat to Rotherham United on Saturday afternoon as goals from Tom Lawrence and Alex Revell sealed the three points for Steve Evans’ side after Ben Watson equalised for the hosts midway through the first-half.
And Mackay, who witnessed a fourth consecutive loss as manager, felt his side let themselves down in the goals that they conceded, though he did admit his side were unlucky not to get anything from the game with Marc-Antoine Fortuné and Oriol Riera going close late on.
“I thought we lost a truly awful goal in the first half and that set us back after having two or three early forays on their goal,” Mackay explained. “To lose that was a real blow just before half time.
“It was a case of coming out in the second half and having a real go and we got ourselves back into the game with Ben’s good header but then we let ourselves down with the set-piece at the other end.
“As far as I’m concerned, that’s a soft goal to lose with a header from the edge of the box and after that we were unfortunate because we lost Leon Barnett with a hamstring issue after we’ve brought our three subs on so we’re down to ten and then we have the two chances in the last five minutes where Marco roles their centre-back and, on any other day, sticks it in the back of the net.
“After that, we hit the bar with Oriol Riera’s header in the last couple of minutes so today, you could probably say lady luck didn’t really smile on us.”
Mackay added that things did go against his side as the game went on with the mistakes followed up by Leon Barnett picking up an injury which left Latics down to ten men.
But he says now it’s about his side showing a strength of character to bounce back as they face Leeds United and Sheffield Wednesday over the Christmas period.
“It’s just the way the ball is rolling at the moment; the mistake for the first goal and the injury to Leon sometimes these things happen, these days happen and it happened today,” he added.
“There’s absolutely no doubt about the energy levels and the way the boys focused today in terms of the physicality but it’s more about cutting out the silly errors and being clinical at the other end and our team are not doing that at the moment and that’s why we are where we are in the league - that’s something that we have to change.
“It’s about making sure we have the strength of character to come back from that and there is nothing else for it.”
Next up for Latics is a trip to Elland Road to face Leeds United on Boxing Day and Mackay has said he will ensure the players are fully focused and determined to make the club’s fans proud.
“We’ve got a tough away tie at Leeds now on Boxing Day and the boys will recover and get back to work and all focus is on that now to make sure that we make amends.
“It’s their [the fans] club, we’re custodians and I’ll do everything that I can to make them proud of us, make no mistake about that.”