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Fan's View: Repeat defeat is tough to take

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Nat Lofthouse
Nat Lofthouse

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So just where do I begin? Perhaps I should start by thanking Alan Houghton for selecting this game to “bench” himself and hand over the fan’s review report to yours truly! Sadly that baton metamorphosed into a poisoned chalice, writes Steven Battersby.

A repeat scoreline from Wigan’s last league visit to our stadium was not really on my horizon but a 4-0 scoreline did full justice to the ease with which our local rivals despatched us.

There was an air of nervousness about our play from the outset and this manifested itself in quite the worst defensive display from our boys since the early days of Ian Evatt’s reign back in the locked down months of 2020.

The normally reliable Gethin Jones and Jack Iredale had what can best be described as afternoons to forget.

Nathan Baxter had made a number of vital saves on Tuesday night to preserve the lead against Fleetwood and Ricardo Santos had to a degree prevailed against the opponents he had faced previously.

However, today they came up against a livewire and skilful front three of Humphreys, Lang and Wyke and struggled throughout.

From the moment Wyke capitalised on shocking defending from a corner we were in disarray and Baxter won’t look back fondly at the third and fourth goals.

Many fans are once again highlighting our lightweight look in midfield. Another below par performance from Morley gives real cause for concern and Thomason should have been on after 25 minutes. Nlundulu also needs to improve on his performance level.

Ian Evatt will have much to ponder after this sorry display and the need for a defensive midfielder in the MJ mould should be an essential requirement before the window closes.

It’s not so much a blip or a wake up call in my opinion but more a case of highlighting that against certain types of opposition we seem too often to come up short.

Evatt has said he is a young manager, still learning his trade. This is a big season for him and this performance will hopefully steer him towards addressing those challenges that are only going to intensify in the weeks ahead.

We move on to Burton!

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