In front of the TV cameras Latics gave a stuttering performance which allowed Ipswich Town to take all three points at the DW Stadium last night.
Luke Hyam gave Ipswich the lead when he converted Tyrone Mings’s low cross and the Tractor Boys doubled their lead in the second half when former Latics striker Conor Sammon bundled the ball over the line from close range.
Wigan responded on 82 minutes when Martyn Waghorn deflected in a James McClean shot and Oriol Riera might have equalised but his powerful effort thumped the post.
Uwe Rösler decided to change his usual formation and went for a back four of Boyce, Ramis, Keirnan and Perch and a midfield three of Kvist, Cowie and Forshaw. The forward line consisted of McManaman, Delort and Maloney.
Latics started brightly, dominating the possession, and might have scored when Andy Delort headed over from a Shaun Maloney cross.
Latics continued to press in the opening stages and could have been awarded a penalty, when Emmerson Boyce was brought down by Christophe Berra, but referee Andy Woolmer waved away the appeals.
Ipswich’s physical approach was starting to disrupt Wigan’s passing game with Callum McManaman in particular singled out for some bone crunching tackles.
Town were closing Wigan down quickly and springing their own attacks.
In the 18th minute Daryl Murphy drew a fine save from Scott Carson and two minutes later Tyrone Mings driven low cross was converted by Luke Hyam from eight yards out.
Ipswich might have increased their lead soon afterwards when Murphy’s cross beat Carson but Ivan Ramis was able to clear away the danger before David McGoldrick could apply the final touch.
Latics responded strongly with McManaman posing a threat but the young winger was soon clattered by Berra and had to go off injured in the 36th minute, with James McClean coming on.
Soon afterwards Town should have been reduced to ten men when Shaun Maloney was brought down by Mings when he had a clear run on goal. Mings received a yellow card from referee Woolmer but many other referees would have given a red.
Latics went into the interval one nil down but having dominated possession they just needed more penetration in front of goal. Striker Andy Delort was working hard but he was struggling to hold up the ball and link up with his team mates.
Midfielder Adam Forshaw might have equalised in the 51st minute when his shot from the edge of the area just cleared the crossbar.
But Ipswich stunned the home crowd on 63 minutes when McGoldrick threaded the ball through to former Latics striker Conor Sammon, who rounded Carson and bundled the ball into an empty net.
The visitors could have added to their lead soon afterwards but McGoldrick fired wide from the edge of the area.
Rösler brought on Oriel Riera for Maloney on 64 minutes and then Martyn Waghorn for Delort after 72 minutes and this helped change the pattern of play in Wigan’s favour. Forshaw moved from the right to the centre of midfield and Cowie moved over to the right which gave Wigan a more balanced formation. Riera held the ball up well and looked more comfortable in the air than the shorter Delort.
Latics reduced the arrears in the 82nd minute when James McClean’s arrowed drive from 12 yards out was deflected home via Waghorn’s knee.
It was all Wigan now with Town manager Mick McCarthy exchanging some anxious glances with his assistant Terry Connor.
Emmerson Boyce blazed wide from inside the area and with three minutes remaining Riera was denied an equaliser when his powerful shot crashed against the right hand post.
Latics had dominated possession and had twenty shots to Ipswich’s eight. Once again the major failure continues to be in the final third were they are unable to capitalise on their overall dominance.
A disappointing result for Latics but it was perhaps inevitable that it would take time for the new players to settle into the team. Rösler has changed the playing style this season and perhaps because of the injury to Emyr Huws the formation had to be changed against Ipswich. There has been a significant turnover in playing staff during the transfer window and many of the players are still getting to know each other.
The doom and gloom amongst some of the supporters is perhaps understandable given the high expectations but it should be balanced by the understanding that it takes time to build a new team and that is essentially where Wigan Athletic are at his moment in time. Patience is required please.