- Wigan Athletic suffered a fourth consecutive defeat as Hull City hit four and moved away from the drop zone.
- The Tigers went ahead after 15 minutes after Jacob Greaves produced an excellent finish from a corner but Latics drew level on 63 minutes with a headed own goal from James McClean’s corner.
- The visitors restored their advantage on 78 minutes when Oscar Estupinan’s scuffed effort trickled over the line before Tyler Smith completed the rout with two late finishes.
- Kolo Toure’s team remain bottom of the Championship table and three points from safety and the Tigers move up to 16th place.
Toure made four changes from Thursday’s defeat against Sunderland, with Jack Whatmough, Ryan Nyambe, Joe Bennett and Jordan Cousins coming into the starting XI.
The visitors started in confident mode and pressed high from the kick off.
They went close to scoring when Regan Slater worked the ball to Alfie Jones in the area but Whatmough did well to block his effort.
The pressure continued and Jean Micheal Seri’s delivery went just past the near post following a clever effort from Estupinan.
The Tigers got the breakthrough in the 15th minute when a corner by Seri found Greaves who produced an emphatic finish into the far corner.
Latics tried to respond and Max Power curled a long range free-kick onto the roof of the net.
Power was involved again soon afterwards after a good attacking move but his final low cross was easily claimed by keeper Matt Ingram.
The visitors then threatened again when Ryan Longman found Estupinan with a low cross from the right, but Curtis Tilt pressurised the Columbia international into hitting his effort wide of the target.
Longman curled an effort over the crossbar before the interval as the visitors went into half-time 1-0 ahead.
Toure needed to make changes at the break as his team had been outplayed in the first half.
The manager switched formation at half-time with Keane pushed forward alongside substitute Nathan Broadhead who replaced Callum Lang.
Ten minutes later Thelo Aasgaard replaced Ashley Fletcher and Tom Naylor replaced Jordan Cousins as Latics began to assert themselves and push forward.
They equalised on 63 minutes when from a McLean corner a Hull defender headed past his own keeper under pressure from Broadhead.
The momentum seemed to be turning in Latics’ favour but the visitors always looked dangerous on the break.
Keeper Jamie Jones kept Latics level when he did well to save Cyrus Christie’s low cross, with Estupinan poised to pounce.
But in the 78th minute some sloppy Latics defending allowed the Tigers to regain the lead through Estupinan. Tilt’s desperate challenge for the ball only diverted it into the forward’s path, and his low effort wrong-footed Jones after a deflection off Whatmough.
With Latics in disarray the Tigers rubbed salt in the wound by adding two further goals in the 85th and 91st minutes from substitute Smith.
The 4-1 score line was perhaps a little harsh on Latics but Toure’s team have now lost the last four games and conceded 14 goals. The omens are not good.
Latics’ freefall under new manager Kolo Toure has put them in a very precarious position at the bottom of the Championship table.
Chairman Talal Al Hammad issued a statement after the game apologising for the form and has promised to take action in the transfer window.
It is to be hoped that the Chairman backs up his words on Twitter with real investment.
Latics situation since the sacking of Leam Richardson has deteriorated and the club will require significant funds in the transfer window if they are to avoid relegation.
The January transfer window is always a difficult market and Latics position at the bottom of the table does not make the club an attractive proposition for many players.
Injuries have not helped Latics’ cause and recent recruitment has not been good enough with Anthony Scully rarely seen on the pitch and Ashley Fletcher proving ineffective.
It is imperative that Latics bring in Championship quality players who will make a positive impact in the second half of the season. There is no point in bringing in makeweights, the players recruited must be capable of going straight into the team and making an impact.
Looking positively, the club did get good results in early season and despite the current poor form they are not cut adrift from the other teams and are only three points from safety.
The next few weeks transfer activity will be critical to Latics’ chances of survival in the Championship.
Post match comments
Speaking afterwards to the media, Toure emphasised that his side will need to be better in those key moments after they were punished by three late goals.
“It was a very tough result,” he said.
“The 4-1 scoreline doesn’t reflect the game, in my opinion. I felt for 75 minutes, we were battling, and we were on top in the second half.
“I thought we would have gone on to score the second goal and put the game to bed, but we conceded three goals in the last 15 minutes again.
“It is very tough (to take) but we will be working hard to correct those errors, and be more focused at the end of the game. We need to communicate better, so we can avoid those goals.
“We are giving easy goals away at the moment, (which means) we then need to chase the game which opens the team up.
“There are things we can improve, and we just need to be positive and keep fighting.”
Toure spoke about the importance of sticking together collectively to come through this difficult patch.
“It is very frustrating. This result puts us in a tough place but we have got to keep going,” He explained.
“We just have to stick together and keep believing in ourselves. We need to keep working hard in training, and we will do everything we can to make things better.”
Not looking good, is it? I still think Rotherham, Cardiff, and Huddersfield to drop but it will be a close run thing.
No it isn’t. Richardson shouldn’t have been sacked and Toure was always going to be a high risk appointment. Club needed better player recruitment in the summer. Morale is now low after Richardson’s sacking, injuries have not helped and change in tactics. Jan transfer window now crucial to us staying up.
Yep, we too are where we are due to awful recruitment in the summer. The table doesn’t lie at this time of the season; our respective owners have a lot to answer for.