John Mousinho admits Portsmouth celebrations took their toll against Wigan

By Sports Desk April 20, 2024

John Mousinho admitted Portsmouth’s Sky Bet League One title celebrations had an impact on their 2-1 defeat to Wigan.

Pompey had their return to the Championship confirmed after they beat Barnsley on Tuesday, but Luke Chambers and Josh Magennis spoilt their promotion party – which saw them lift the trophy as champions.

Mousinho said: “I think Wigan deserved to win. We were awful in the first half. I don’t think we got the press right.

“We were good in possession, but not out of possession, and we got punished for it. We changed things around for the second half and we were more aggressive and much better.

“Their second goal was poor defensively. We created more chances after our goal but just couldn’t get the equaliser.

“We wanted to go out on a high, so the players are obviously disappointed to have lost that unbeaten run.

“I thought we had enough in the tank pre-match to win it, but it’s been a difficult week in terms of normality. Winning on Tuesday, the euphoria of that, and the awards here on Wednesday meant the preparation was very different from the last 44 games.

“Next week will be back to normal in terms of physicality and mentally.”

Wigan’s Jonny Smith hit a post in the 13th minute, but the visitors took the lead 10 minutes later when Chambers put the loose ball past Pompey goalkeeper Will Norris.

Latics sealed the win when Magennis beat Norris with seven minutes to go, despite Kusini Yengi pulling one back for Pompey in the 85th minute.

Wigan manager Shaun Maloney said: “It was a game of two halves really. The first half was probably the best we’ve played all season. We had chances to increase the lead but didn’t take them. That would have made the game very different.

“Pompey were talking about keeping up their unbeaten run and reaching 100 points, but we wanted to win this game. We’ve had 500 fans travel down here today, so it was important we played well.

“Luke really hurt them the first half, and it would be great to have him back next season.

“Jonny’s really stepped up. I think if anything I need more from him next season. He needs a full pre-season and I think he’s a brilliant player.

“The game changed after their goal. Sam (Tickle) has made some tremendous saves getting in where it hurts. The scuffle at the end on the touchline was just about two teams wanting to win.”

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