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WARREN JOYCE REFLECTS ON LATE DEFEAT TO FULHAM

11 February 2017

Boss “bitterly disappointed” but acknowledges his side didn’t capitalise when ahead in cruel defeat at Craven Cottage.

  • Warren Joyce reflects on Wigan Athletic’s 3-2 defeat at Fulham.
  • Joyce explains his disappointment at goals Latics conceded late on.
  • “A lot of good play, but a little bit of quality and coolness let us down late on,” Joyce.
Wigan Athletic manager Warren Joyce was left dejected as his side lost 3-2 against Fulham at Craven Cottage on Saturday afternoon.

Neeskens Kebano scored a late winner for the hosts, after Denis Odoi had cancelled out Latics’ 2-1 half-time lead, given to them by a Scott Malone own goal and Michael Jacobs strike.

Reflecting post-match with Latics PlayerHD, Joyce said:

“It’s obviously bitterly disappointing because I felt that we managed the game reasonably well and we did well to come back from the poor goal we conceded with a good finish from Michael Jacobs.

“In the second-half, we had a couple of great chances to go 3-1 up and then we really would have been in control of the game but unfortunately we didn’t capitalise and then paid the price at the end when, to be honest, they were running out of ideas, and we concede from a long range effort before the really cruel blow in the dying seconds.”

In an honest assessment, Joyce was disappointed with the way Latics were pegged back by Odoi’s strike from a set-piece midway through the second-half.

“For the second goal, I don’t think we have to give the free-kick away, I know he’s scored from long range, but before that there’s a rush of blood where if we stay on our feet we don’t give the foul away because we don’t have to win every ball,” he explained.

“From that, I thought we were slow to organise ourselves and you certainly don’t need three in a wall from that sort of distance and that’s why we concede from a long-range goal because we were unbalanced.

“When they equalise, you’re facing real pressure against the home side but, to be fair, we kept going and even at 2-2 had really good opportunities with Jacobs denied by the good save and when he came in at the back post too.

“Sometimes it’s a lack of experience, sometimes it’s a poor decision under pressure and that’s what has cost us because we didn’t manage the game out well enough again despite there being a lot of good play again, as there has been in a lot of games recently, and we certainly deserve more points than we have.”

Assessing how he’s going to pick the dressing room up after the cruel blow, he added:

“It’s a low dressing room and I am picking myself up as well because we’re so disappointed to lose in that sort of situation.

“It’s not the first time we have talked about it, but we have to show our mettle now; if we’re fighters, the best time we can show that is when we’re having a lot of whacks against us.

“We showed it at 1-0 down today; we drove the game to go 2-1 up and at 2-2 we did the same going for the winner with the chances we created, and there are a lot of good qualities on display but the fine margins of quality and coolness have cost us.”

Jakob Haugaard had to go off at half-time and was replaced by Matt Gilks for his Latics debut.

On the Danish stopper, Joyce finished:

“Jakob got a knock in the first-half but in the talk at the break he didn’t feel that well and that will have to be assessed over the weekend.”

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