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WARREN JOYCE: “EVERY GAME IS A CUP FINAL NOW”

22 February 2017

Boss knows Latics have to find winning formula sooner rather than later after 2-1 defeat at QPR on Tuesday evening.

  • Latics manager Warren Joyce reflects on 2-1 defeat at QPR.
  • Boss rues conceding two poor goals.
  • Joyce: “Every game is a cup final now”.
Wigan Athletic manager Warren Joyce says his side have to look at every game as a cup final between now and the end of the season after defeat at QPR on Tuesday evening kept his side in the Sky Bet Championship relegation zone.

Reflecting post-match with Latics PlayerHD, Joyce said:

“Every game is a cup final and that’s the way we have got to approach it; we have put little runs together with wins and draws but not built on it and enjoyed a good run for a more sustained period.

“It’s a long journey back now, and we have to make sure we look after the players tomorrow because it’s been a busy period of games and then we’ll prepare for the next cup final against Forest on Saturday.

“It’s disappointing, we dust ourselves down and go again, there were a lot of good aspects of the performance and that’s what’s so frustrating.”

Assessing the defeat at Loftus Road, Joyce was disappointed with what he classed as “soft goals” that his side conceded.

“It’s two poor goals we’ve conceded really,” he explained. “The first one there are a lot of things wrong with, as there is the second.

“The first one is just a kick down the middle of the pitch and that’s disappointing, especially after just four minutes.

“The second one is a long kick from us, where they win a free header and then we don’t pick the second ball up, and ten seconds later they’re putting the ball in the back of the net.

“Poor reaction times, poor decisions, a poor start and positional sense – I have talked about it before about managing games through and being in good start positions off throw-ins and goal kicks, things as basic as that – and that’s what is costing us really.

“We have to be better and be brighter in our thinking to recognise those things and get in good positions to do the basics right.

“Second-half I felt we probably looked a little bit off the pace in that we didn’t pick enough second balls up but then we still drove the game late on, so you can’t put that down to any fitness aspects,” he continued.

“You have to adapt, win the battle, you have to win the fight to earn the right to play football and we didn’t do that in a period for the second-half.”

Latics did have chances at the other end, and Joyce was equally frustrated to now see his side win score more goals.

“Buxton’s header was screaming in and it’s a good save from keeper,” he added. “Second-half we had opportunities too, even in the dying seconds with the ball in the box where you’re hoping you get a touch and grab a point.

“It’s gone now, though, and we have to prepare to go again and put it right.”

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