Interim manager Graham Barrow praises his side after narrow defeat to Sky Bet Championship leaders.
- Graham Barrow’s post-match assessment after Latics lost 2-1 at Newcastle United.
- Barrow on Omar Bogle, Ryan Colclough, Michael Jacobs and Callum Connolly.
- “If we repeat that performance in the final seven games, we’ll certainly get wins,” Barrow.
Wigan Athletic’s Interim Manager Graham Barrow praised his side’s efforts after their narrow 2-1 defeat at Newcastle United on Saturday afternoon.
A spirited fightback early in the second-half saw Michael Jacobs draw Latics level after Dwight Gayle’s first-half opener but Matt Ritchie headed home for the Magpies as the hour mark approached to consign Barrow’s side to another defeat, this time against the Sky Bet Championship’s runaway leaders.
Assessing the game post-match with Latics PlayerHD, Barrow said:
“I thought we gave a good account of ourselves and certainly when we got back to 1-1 we had some great situations.
“Overall, I couldn’t have asked for much more from the players and their commitment to try and play was there for all to see really.
“It was a bit like déjà vu to the Villa game really, I know it was a different score-line but similarly we looked in the second-half like we’d have a good chance of winning it.
“For the second goal, we don’t get the rub of green and last year they were probably going in our favour.
“I can’t fault the players’ application and what they have done over the last seven or eight days and hopefully they can carry that on against other teams.”
Jacobs had levelled things up for Latics after another impressive display from the forward, who looked to gain confidence after his delicate chip early in the second 45.
And Barrow praised the former Wolves and Derby County man.
“Michael has been great in the last two games,” he added. “He knows how I feel about him as a player and he’s certainly responded in the last two games.
“He’s a good Championship player, there’s no doubt about that.”
Barrow was forced into changes at half-time as Alex Gilbey and Ryan Colclough came on for Sam Morsy and Omar Bogle, and Barrow is rueing the loss of striker Bogle but admitted former Crewe man Colclough impressed.
“The Football Gods were against us in some respects because Omar come off injured and that looks like a pulled muscle which could take a couple of weeks to heal,” he continued.
“Ryan did well against Villa; the obvious thing to do would have been to bring Gabby on but I thought Michael and Ryan could probably cause the two centre-halves more problems on the floor and certainly that proved to be the case in the second-half.”
Callum Connolly switched out to right wing back in the second-half when Craig Morgan replaced Shaun MacDonald in a tactical switch, and the Everton loanee showed his encouraging progress with a good performance.
“Callum has got so much going for him,” Barrow continued. “You’re in a situation with young players where you’re teaching them the game and he continues to do well and improve.
“I felt the change of getting him further up the field on the right worked, but it was difficult because we didn’t want to open the floodgates to the talent and pace that they have.”
Looking ahead to the final seven matches of the season, Barrow insisted he still hasn’t given up on survival and says today’s performance should provide encouragement.
“If we can repeat that performance in the final seven games then I do believe we’ll get some wins, if it’s enough then great but if it’s not then so be it, but we have to give the fans something to shout about,” he finished.
“We want to win away but at home I really want to give them a performance they deserve and get the result that I think the players deserve to be honest because I don’t think the performances in general have been that bad.
“We have to take the positives and move on to Tuesday.”