Wigan Athletic’s winless run was extended to eight games after yet another 0-0 draw, this time at home to Millwall. The home team dominated the game but lacked the cutting edge which would have given them all three points.
James McClean fired into the side netting from close range, Shaun Maloney drew an excellent save from the Millwall keeper David Forde and substitute Callum McManaman beat the Lions keeper but his effort hit the crossbar.
Ricardo Fuller had the one gilt-edged opportunity for the Lions but failed to control the ball in the box.
Wigan welcomed new loan signing Maynor Figueroa into the starting eleven as one of three changes, alongside Marc-Antoine Fortune and William Kvist, replacing Callum McManaman, Don Cowie and Andrew Taylor.
Rösler’s men nearly took an early lead when Oriol Riera put pressure on David Forde and the keeper’s poor clearance went straight into the path of James McClean, but the Irishman could only strike the side netting.
Soon afterwards some neat interplay on the edge of the Lions box provided an opening for Maloney and the Scottish international drew an excellent full length save from Forde.
James Tavernier, making his second successive start, was delivering some good crosses into the danger zone but Wigan were unable to capitalise on his good work.
Millwall’s only real chance of the first half fell to Scott McDonald in the 38th minute. McDonald produced a 30 yard effort which Scott Carson held comfortably.
Latics upped the pressure in the second period. Riera was working tirelessly alongside Marc-Antoine Fortune and the Spanish striker nearly stole the ball off Forde in the penalty area with his slide tackle.
Riera then nearly got on the score sheet when he converted Fortune’s cross, but the Frenchman was called offside.
Millwall offered little going forward and were clearly content to play for a point.
Latics fans were clearly frustrated by the Lions persistent fouling and time-wasting. Forde in particular should have been yellow carded for excessive time-wasting by referee Eddie Iderlton, who did book three Millwall players, but the tally should have been much higher.
Despite their dominance Latics were failing to penetrate the Millwall defence and Rösler introduced McManaman on 61 minutes. The winger looked lively and nearly got on the score sheet when he curled an angled cross beyond Forde but the ball hit the crossbar and bounced to safety.
Ricardo Fuller should have done better with a late chance for Millwall but failed to capitalise, and the Jamaican striker could have been sent off for a very late challenge which left Scott Carson prostrate.
Millwall manager Ian Holloway was sarcastic with his post match comment:
“I didn’t want to just come here and waste time and get a point – I wanted to win.”
Rösler’s men had been the better team throughout and if they could find a cutting edge they would have won comfortably. They had dominated possession and had 15 shots to Millwall’s 6.
This was the third successive goalless home league game.
The Wigan manager identified the problem to the press after the game:
“I think it’s a little bit about the quality as well because we do everything right up until the last 20 metres and then we are not acting like we should act, especially for the quality of players we have in our squad.”
This may seem daft, but the next game at Derby could drag a better performance out of the lads. Just a thought and hopefully not just wishful.
Think you may be right. We’re capable of playing much better and Derby would be a good time to do it.
We need a big striker to finish off taverniers good crosses. Pops quality balls in the box we just can’t finish them off
Agree, we need a stronger presence in the penalty box. Fortune is a big guy but he doesn’t make his presence felt. Ironically Holt was supposed to be that player but he was past his best when he came to Latics.
If we slip into the bottom three and things continue in this vein, I think serious changes need to be made….
This is the point where we turned it around last season. Well done lads.