Wigan secured a vital three points in their quest for a Championship play-off spot when they defeated struggling Barnsley. But the victory was marred by a serious leg injury to FA Cup final hero Ben Watson.
Goals by loan signings Nicky Maynard and Martyn Waghorn ensured that Latics moved to within four points of the play-offs after a dominant first half performance.
Latics struggled to maintain their dominance in the second half, but Barnsley failed to capitalise on some good opportunities.
Wigan made a brisk start to the game and could have been two or three ahead in the opening minutes.
However, the team suffered a major setback in the 20th minute when Watson collided with Martin Woods on the edge of the penalty area. Players and officials immediately called for a stretcher for what appears to be a serious injury to the midfielder who broke his leg only 15 months ago.
Despite the Latics’ players obvious concern for Watson’s wellbeing, they continued to press and pass effectively.
They were rewarded in the 35th minute when Maynard slotted home from close range following Jean Beausejour’s left-wing cross.
They increased their lead in the 44th minute when McClean’s excellent cross found the Leicester City loanee Waghorn who scored his first goal for the club.
Latics eased off in the second half, much to the disgust of Wigan manager Uwe Rosler, but although Barnsley had plenty of possession they failed to punish the home team.
Wigan are now unbeaten in their last six matches at home and now move onto Brighton on Saturday hoping to maintain their run of good form.
However, Wigan’s main concern tonight is the health of Ben Watson. Everybody associated with the club will be hoping that the injury is not too serious and that Ben makes a speedy recovery.