It was another abject performance by Wigan Athletic as they crashed to a 3-0 home defeat to Birmingham City.
Josh Windass had an early opportunity to give Latics the lead but it was Che Adams who put the Blues in front after 26 minutes combining well with his strike partner Lukas Jutkiewicz.
Michael Morrison added a second following some poor Latics defending at a corner just before half time.
Windass had a glorious opportunity to reduce the deficit with a header in the second half but the points were sealed when Jacques Maghoma headed home the third for the visitors from Jutkiewicz’s assist.
Birmingham moved up to eighth in the table four points outside the play-offs after an accomplished away display.
Latics’ early season good form has now deserted them with only one win in their last 10 outings. The team are now only six points above the drop zone and if they don’t halt their descent down the table they will be dragged into a relegation scrap.
Paul Cook made two changes to the starting eleven from the defeat at Ipswich with James Vaughan and Kal Naismith returning. Vice captain Dan Burn was playing his last home game for the club before his move to Brighton and Hove Albion in January.
Josh Windass had a great opportunity in only the third minute when he broke quickly past the Blues defence but from a good position he failed to hit the target.
Gary Roberts then dribbled his way past three Blues defenders but saw his dangerous cross cleared away at the vital moment.
Latics were looking shaky in defence however and when Jutkiewicz and Adams linked up well on the edge of the penalty area the former Sheffield United striker Adams finished past Christian Walton.
Latics had a penalty appeal turned down soon afterwards when Cedric Kipre appeared to be tripped in the area but referee Ross Joyce waved away the appeals.
Naismith forced a good save from Lee Camp at his near post but Latics were struggling to create many clear cut opportunities.
Latics’ tactic of playing long balls up to Vaughan and Windass was proving ineffective and there was a notable lack of creativity from the centre of midfield.
Just before the interval the visitors doubled their lead after some slack Latics defending at a corner. Gary Gardner rose unchallenged at the front post and his flicked header found the unmarked Morrison at the back post who converted with ease.
Latics’ best chance of the second half came when Windass was free in the centre of the goal but he headed wide of the target from Reece James’ cross.
The three points were effectively sealed soon afterwards when Wes Harding’s cross was headed on by Jutkiewicz and Maghoma steered it beyond Walton.
Kipre was unlucky when his header hit the bar from James’ cross but overall Latics had been unable to convert the few chances they had created while Birmingham had been clinical with their finishing.
Paul Cook said after the game that it was the lowest point in his 18 month tenure. His team are currently out of sorts and out of ideas. There is no creativity from the centre of the park and they are sorely missing the injured Nick Powell.
They were poor at both ends of the park yesterday and Cook must try and get back to the passing football that was so effective at the beginning of the season. His current style of playing long balls up to the two strikers is proving ineffective. The players must step up to the challenge and the manager must quickly find a winning formula or they will become embroiled in a relegation fight.