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GRAHAM BARROW ASSESSES THE DEFEAT TO BLACKBURN ROVERS

4 March 2017

Assistant manager says the nature of the defeat in local derby hurts most as Latics beaten 1-0 at Ewood Park.

  • Graham Barrow reflects on Wigan Athletic’s defeat to Blackburn Rovers.
  • Barrow: “The nature of the defeat hurts”.
  • “We’re going to have to gamble more to score goals,” adds Barrow.
Wigan Athletic’s assistant manager Graham Barrow admitted he was hurt by the nature of his side’s defeat at Blackburn Rovers on Saturday afternoon.

In a crucial Lancashire derby at Ewood Park, Latics suffered a bitter blow as Marvin Emnes’ second-half goal proved the difference.

Reflecting post-match, Barrow said:

“Losing any local derby, but especially in those circumstances for a valuable three points, hurts and especially the nature of it.

“That little bit of fire wasn’t there first-half, but probably was in the second-half, ironically just after they scored. 

“We got a decent response once we got the substitutes on but we can’t brush this under the carpet, we are disappointed, the thing is we can’t dwell on it, we have to move on very quickly for Tuesday and then next Saturday.”

Barrow also explained the confusion around the double substitution his side looked to make in the second-half.

“It was a simple error,” he added. “The fourth official has not read the numbers right. We knew who we wanted on and we wanted to make positive substitutions. 

“You hope the fourth official turns round and says he can’t read the writing but obviously he’s just gone with it thinking he’s got the right number. It’s nobody’s fault as such, but in the end it was all a bit embarrassing.”

Latics rarely looked like troubling Jason Steele on a frustrating afternoon and Barrow said his side didn’t attack the ball enough in crucial areas.

“We went with a team that included the lads within the club that we felt could score us goals,” Barrow continued. “Michael Jacobs came back from injury, Omar was in there but the games have probably caught up with him a little bit and then Connolly has got a couple at Burton too.

“I thought we had good situations, but nothing clear-cut and we weren’t clinical – it’s the oldest trick in the book to go and attack the ball at set-pieces and we didn’t do that enough today because we didn’t get on the end of the balls that we did get in there.”

At the other end of the pitch, he offered praise, though:

“We have lived off the back four, let’s be honest, they’ve given us a chance in most games and they did again today, because they kept it at 0-0 for a long time and even saved us at 1-0 to keep us in the game,” he explained.

“The defenders come out with real credit for the whole season, especially considering where we are in the league.

“We have to improve on the attacking side of the game; we have to gamble more, and some players don’t like that word but you have to gamble to score goals.”

And Dan Burn was in for lots of praise from Barrow:

“Dan got a bit of criticism early on and I know myself how hard it can be as a big man to get going in the season,” Barrow said.

“It’s been for a long spell that he has been playing well now and he is a credit to this club, and for me he looks like a Premier League player.”

Barrow’s final message was about getting a reaction, and not giving up…

“The best thing is that we can do something about this on Tuesday and other results have kept us in touch,” he finished.

“At Wigan Athletic you never give up and whilst it’s mathematically possible – and it’s more than that – we certainly won’t give up.

“It’s important supporters stick with us; I understand their frustrations and they’re right to have them but we have got to stay in this league and they have a major part to play but we have to respond as well.”

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