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Club News


18 March 2017

Interim Manager Graham Barrow’s thoughts on 2-0 defeat to Aston Villa.

  • Graham Barrow on Latics’ 2-0 defeat to Aston Villa.
  • Barrow: “The supporters were 100% behind me and the team.”
  • “Encouraging signs but it’s obvious we need more,” says Barrow.
Wigan Athletic’s Interim Manager Graham Barrow says there were encouraging signs from his side in Saturday’s 2-0 defeat to Aston Villa, but in their current situation it’s obvious more is needed.

Assessing the game post-match with Latics PlayerHD, Barrow said:

“I could tell the supporters were 100% behind me and the team and we almost delivered.

“It’s something we’ll have to look at, though, because it’s the top end of the pitch again.

“I thought we were a bit nervous on the ball in the first-half but then again they weren’t really causing any problems. We looked like we had done a lot of work on the training ground with the setup but then we have to play and that didn’t really happen.

“Second-half, it did, though, and Michael Jacobs in particular influenced it after the midfield got a talk at half-time and that was encouraging.

“Ryan Colclough showed glimpses when he come on and it looked like it was going to be 1-0 either way but then we conceded a poor goal. For me, everyone has totally switched off, you could argue there is contact [with Matt Gilks] but then you’re clutching at straws.

“There were encouraging signs but the situation obviously needs more.”

Barrow’s side were certainly more positive in their approach to the game as they searched for a crucial win but ultimately the quality in the final third was again evidently lacking.

“We worked the goalkeeper more than we have, which is encouraging, but then we didn’t work him hard enough and they were easy saves really,” he added.

“At 1-0, I sent Dan Burn up and in our position it may as well have been two or three so I blame myself on the second goal, rather than the team.”

Barrow also switched style against Steve Bruce’s Villa, opting for wing backs and three central defenders, with Andy Kellett coming in for the injured Stephen Warnock.

Kellett had to be substituted in the second-half and was visibly distraught as he left the field, with Barrow confirming the initial signs are worrying.

“I had a look at things early on in the week and I felt without Stephen Warnock, the back four would look a bit fragile, so I went for some extra strength and that allowed us to have three players up the pitch,” he explained.

“Andy Kellett was bright in training and I thought he did well today whilst he was on the pitch and I thought the wing back situation worked. We’ve seen it before, I was a part of that and we worked on it in the week, and I was just disappointed that the other two players at the top end of the pitch didn’t work as hard as Michael to make it work.

“We’ll have to wait until tomorrow but the fact Andy came off was disappointing and disturbing with it being a short time since his last injury.

“I haven’t really spoken to the physios yet and hopefully it’s not too bad because I was going to leave him on the pitch and have him higher up as we did at Barnsley last year.”

With eight games to go, Latics’ situation obviously looks bleak but Barrow stated his side are far from throwing in the towel.

“We’re not going to give up, no chance,” he finished. “The fixtures are tough but it’s all about finding a bit more belief on the ball and hopefully over the next two weeks we’ll be able to do that.”

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