Shaun Maloney relaxed despite defeat for 10-man Wigan

By Sports Desk August 26, 2023

Wigan boss Shaun Maloney was reluctant to criticise his team or the match officials after a 2-0 defeat to Barnsley with 10 men.

The visitors started brightly and took advantage of Charlie Hughes’ 21st-minute red card, with Devante Cole firing his side in front five minutes later.

Wigan showed plenty of heart in the second half but Barnsley substitute John McAtee made the game safe in added time.

Maloney said of the red card: “It’s a difficult decision. I’ve seen one angle of it and I can’t decide whether he’s got the ball or the player, so it looked a little bit 50-50.

“I don’t want to complain too much about decisions, sometimes they go for you and this instance it’s gone against us. It had a big impact in terms of how the game went, but that’s football and sometimes these things go against you.

“The flow of the game changed immediately after the red card. I’m not overly positive generally after defeats, but for half an hour or so in the second half we had to play under big pressure.

“I let them know that I didn’t care if there was a mistake, we had to play under pressure to get back into it and for 30 minutes I think we did that.

“I can’t be critical of the second goal, we went all out to try and get a goal and physically the team was spent. The last five or six minutes were open and I can’t be critical.

“It’s a sore one and you don’t like to lose, but we’ll get back to work on Monday.”

Barnsley manager Neill Collins admitted his “relief” as his side got back to winning ways.

The Tykes had not tasted victory since dismantling Port Vale 7-0 on the opening day of the season and they faced a tough task at the DW Stadium – against a side who would have started the day top were it not for an eight-point deduction for financial reasons.

Collins said: “It’s always a relief to win when you’re coming on the back of a couple of defeats.

“The first day was just an excellent day all round, to get the three points was important but to win the way we did meant it was made a bit more of a deal than it was.

“I thought the cup game afterwards (against Tranmere) was positive from the perspective that we had a really young team and they played really well.

“Then at Bristol (Rovers) we got a point without playing great, before two home games against two really tough teams (Peterborough and Oxford).

“People ask questions after defeats but we knew the reasons why they happened and how we needed to improve.

“To come here and get a result considering where we’re at is really pleasing.”

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