Boss praises players after devastating late defeat to Steve Bruce’s side as unbeaten away run is ended at Villa Park.
- Warren Joyce reacts to Wigan Athletic’s defeat to Aston Villa.
- “A lot of good things came out of the game, but we have to dust ourselves down now,” Joyce.
- Manager confirms Reece Burke substitution at half-time was due to recurrence of recent injury problem.
Assessing the game post-match with Latics PlayerHD, Joyce praised his players’ efforts in the Midlands and encouraged them to get themselves ready to fight again on Wednesday night against Rafa Benitez and his Magpies at the DW.
“The players are devastated, of course,” he said. “There were a hell of a lot of good things that came out of today’s game, but unfortunately we have to dust ourselves down now.
“We have to look at it as one game that we have lost and one point that we have lost from the 88th minute. We have to prepare ourselves for the Newcastle game with exactly the same amount of effort, commitment and team spirit that we showed today.”
Latics created chances on the break and looked to have superbly counteracted the wealth of international experience Bruce was able to field until Grealish’s stunning strike beat Jaaskelainen two minutes from time.
And Joyce praised his side’s efforts in stopping the quality Villa have from midfield and in attack.
“The game plan will be no different at home or away from home because we have got some really tough sides to play against and we have got to deal with football clubs that are throwing the best part of £20million of substitutes onto the pitch,” Joyce explained.
“That’s where we’re at, we’ve got to make sure we stop the opposition from playing in the best way that we can and limit their opportunities of scoring – which we did today – and then try and come up with ways that we can score goals to win games.
“We will approach the game no differently on Wednesday night, we will try and win the game in what we believe is the best way that we can go and do that.
“There was a fantastic amount of running and effort from the players, they’ve done that since I came to the club. We have tried to improve the levels of fitness of all of the players and they’ve worked hard every single day.
“We can’t feel sorry for ourselves, though, and we have got to continue doing that, because if we stop then we will have problems,” he continued.
“There were efforts and opportunities in the second-half that we could have used to have gone on and won the game, even at the end when we were chasing it five minutes to go in stoppage time.
“We have got to make sure that in every game between now and the end of the season that we are in with a chance of winning.”
Reece Burke was replaced by Jordi Gomez at half-time and Joyce was disappointed to lose the West Ham United loanee.
“Reece has a recurrence of the injury from a week or so ago and that makes things difficult for us with what we have got,” he added. “I thought the lads adapted well, though, and credit to Luke Garbutt again because he did well with another curve ball that we had to adapt to.”
Joyce was again full of praise for the travelling Wigan Athletic support, albeit he was gutted to not give them more to cheer.
“We have to set our stall out against these big clubs and not be frightened of them, show them respect but respect we earned the right to be out on the pitch against them and be fit, organised, energetic and determined to win every game we play in.”