Boss reflects as Callum Wilson double downs Latics at the DW.
- Offside goal frustrates manager after even start.
- Praise for Leon Clarke on debut.
- Focus now on Forest trip on Wednesday.
Latics boss Malky Mackay rued a missed offside goal for AFC Bournemouth’s opener as the Cherries ran out 3-1 winners at the DW Stadium on Saturday.
Eddie Howe’s side stay at the top of the Sky Bet Championship whilst Latics stay seven points from safety in 23rd.
And Mackay felt the first goal took the momentum his side were building away, as he reflected on another home defeat.
“We knew we were in for a tough test today in playing one of the best teams in the division and they’re a team that have already had eight away wins,” the Scot said.
“I thought first-half it was pretty even-steven until the goal and, having looked back, we’re disappointed because it’s offside as Yann Kermorgant flicks it on to Callum Wilson who is in an offside position.
“That’s an error and then that took the wind out of the sails a little bit before we give away a poor goal for their second as we give the ball away right on our own 18-yard line and allow a free shot on goal, you can’t do that against a good team.
“I thought second-half it was very much even-steven again but the boy Wilson managed to get away for their third and afterwards we came back into it again and had two or three chances ourselves but it’s fine lines and they’re a good team.”
Leon Clarke opened his Latics account on debut as the hosts searched for a way back into the game and Mackay had praise for the striker’s all-round performance, as one of five home debutants.
“I thought Leon did well all day,” he added. “I thought he was a handful for them all day and looked like a proper centre forward; he won his headers, held the ball up, got into their box, scored a goal and had a couple of other chances as well.
“I’m delighted with that acquisition and I’m pleased with how he’s come in here and settled in, that will be good for us in the next 17 games.
“Chris [Herd] was doing well and he just felt his Achilles near the end there and I didn’t want to take that risk so we had to take him off; he’s a real warrior and I’m sure he’ll do well for the football club.
“Young Sheyi [Ojo] is just a 17-year-old, playing in the under-21s at Liverpool and training with the first team. I asked him to go on and run at them and he did that even though the pitch wasn’t really that conducive to dribbling but he can go by people at times as if they’re not there.
“He’s still young, got a lot to learn but I’m glad that he excited people when he came on.”
Mackay now takes his players to Nottingham Forest on Wednesday night and he’s urged his squad to not be too disheartened by the result.
“We can’t be too disappointed in that today in terms of who we played against and the performance that we gave, we take that into Wednesday,” Mackay continued.
“It’s something we’re working towards, they have a lot of strength in a lot of areas; we blooded four or five new players today and I was happy with their contribution.
“Coming off the back of last week, we played the best team in the league but we now focus on Nottingham Forest on Wednesday night, it’s a tough game over there and we’re looking forward to getting a game in again after that.”