All eyes were upon Uwe Rösler on Saturday afternoon as his Wigan team came upon against his former charges Brentford at the DW Stadium. The former East German international striker has had a superb start to his managerial career at Wigan taking the club to the FA Cup semi-final and reaching the Championship play-offs, but things have turned sour for Rösler this season with Latics struggling at the wrong end of the table.
Wigan were desperate to pick up their first win in seven games and mid-table Brentford were determined to get one over their former manager, but the game ended in stalemate with neither team gaining the upper hand in a tame 0-0 draw.
Latics made four changes from their last game at Wolves, with a more attack orientated line up including Callum McManaman, James Tavernier, Oriol Riera and Adam Forshaw coming in for Marc-Antoine Fortune, William Kvist, James Perch and Emyr Huws.
Former Brentford star player Adam Forshaw featured in the Latics line up following his acrimonious and protracted transfer in August.
Brentford looked lively early on as Moses Odubajo saw two efforts saved by Carson but Latics created a great opportunity on the half-hour mark when Maloney was set up by Oriol Riera and just when it looked like the diminutive Scot would give them the lead, Bees keeper David Button turned his low shot round the post.
Some sloppy play by Forshaw allowed Brentford possession and a long ball forward found Andre Gray beyond the last defender Ivan Ramis, but the former Luton Town player lobbed the ball over Carson and onto the roof of the net. Minutes later he had another chance but volleyed wide from 10 yards out.
Latics new line up was struggling to find any rhythm with wingers James McClean and Callum McManaman largely ineffective. Oriel Riera was holding the ball up well but he was rarely given a pass where he could threaten the goal.
Brentford looked the most likely to sneak it, with Alex Pritchard’s strike forcing a good save by Carson, and then an even better save when he denied Jota by tipping round the post.
The Bees Jonathan Douglas also ought to have done better when he fired into the side-netting.
But Wigan nearly won it in the 85th minute when Tavernier put in a deep cross from the right-hand side, and McClean evaded his marker but unfortunately his header flew inches over the crossbar and the game ended goalless.
This was a strangely lacklustre performance by Rösler‘s men and many fans are starting to question the manager’s decision-making. Uwe seems incapable of deciding on his best line up and the lack of continuity is contributing to the poor results.
Wigan were without Emmerson Boyce and Emyr Huws yesterday due to injury, but the constant chopping and changing in formation and starting eleven seems to be affecting the players.
Coaches Eric Black and Graham Barrow have a say in team matters but the buck stops with Rösler and the pressure is now mounting on the manager to turn things around very quickly.
Latics have not lost in the last three games but they need to turn the draws into wins starting against Millwall on Tuesday night.