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WARREN JOYCE REFLECTS ON 3-2 DEFEAT TO IPSWICH TOWN

17 December 2016

Manager’s reflection as Latics lose fourth consecutive game, despite leading through Yanic Wildschut double.

  • Warren Joyce assesses Latics’ 3-2 defeat to Ipswich Town.
  • Boss rues poor goals conceding and “worldy” saves from Bartosz Bialkowski.
  • “Naivety and game management costly,” says Joyce.
Wigan Athletic manager Warren Joyce was left disappointed once more as his side lost a fourth consecutive game when it seemed they would take all three points on Saturday afternoon against Ipswich Town at the DW Stadium.

Having trailed to a controversial opener from the penalty spot from Brett Pitman, Yanic Wildschut scored either side of half-time to give his side the lead before Pitman’s header levelled the game at 2-2.

Substitute David McGoldrick won the game in the last minute for Mick McCarthy’s side, and that left Joyce in bitter frustration in his post-match reflection with Latics PlayerHD:

“The first goal is a hard one to swallow,” Joyce said. “I didn’t think we started particularly well and didn’t deal with the long balls they were putting in or pick up enough of the second balls but it’s certainly not a penalty and it puts us a goal down at home when the lads were probably a bit anxious anyway.

“I thought we showed a lot of courage with the way we played up until half-time and I thought we were good value for the goal to go back in on level terms.

“In the second-half, I thought for 30-35 minutes we played some really good football – probably as good as we have played since I have been here – and we created numerous opportunities. There were a lot of chances that went begging really and, at 2-1, we could have made it three or four and killed the game off.

“We then concede a poor goal; it’s a knock down and individual errors cost us again, and then you get the cruel blow in the last minute.”

Wildschut’s double gave Latics an opportunity to collect a first home win since September, but they couldn’t see the game out.

And, though that was a source of frustration for Joyce, the manager felt it was just as disappointing his side didn’t kill the game off.

“Yanic Wildschut could have scored five or six today, even at the end he looked a constant threat,” Joyce explained. “The disappointment is that when you have someone on fire like that then you have to give them ball as many times as you can, as quickly as you can, and we didn’t do that often enough.

“There were a couple of great saves from the goalkeeper but there were other opportunities too; Griggy [Will Grigg] had a couple, there were balls slid across the face that we didn’t even get contact on, Bucko and Stephen Warnock’s efforts you were waiting to hit the net and it could have been four or five on another day.”

Joyce didn’t want to use the foggy conditions as an excuse, though he did stress his resources were limited with forced changes due to the injuries sustained by Craig Morgan, Shaun MacDonald and Luke Garbutt in midweek against Newcastle resulting in an inexperienced substitute bench and players having to play out of position.

“You can’t make excuses for the conditions; it’s the same for both sides,” Joyce said. “I think it was more down to the naivety, the game management and the structure of what we had on the pitch at the end of the game which meant that we had a lot of lads accommodating and playing out of position, because that is all we’ve got at the moment.

“I thought we were poor on second balls today but, if you look at the end of the game we haven’t got that many central midfield players on the pitch, due to injuries to [Shaun] MacDonald and then today to Perkins, which leaves us open in that area where we haven’t got a lot of cover in the squad.

“As the game went on, we were a bit unbalanced with the substitutions and options we had to change things.”

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