Spirited Latics pick up a point – Wigan Athletic 1 Coventry City 1

Charlie Hughes – magnificent in defence

  • Relegation threatened Wigan Athletic produced a spirited performance in a 1-1 draw with playoff chasing Coventry City at the DW Stadium.
  • The visitors threatened through Gustavo Hamer and Matt Godden but the hosts were much improved from recent displays and matched the visitors in the first half with Daniel Sinani twice forcing good saves from keeper Ben Wilson.
  • Early in the second half the visitors were ahead when goalkeeper Ben Amos hesitated to come off his line and Victor Gyokeres headed his 18th goal of the season.
  • Despite the setback they battled hard to get back into the game and they were rewarded when Ryan Nyambe’s shot was deflected into his own net by Kyle McFadzean.
  • Latics move off the bottom of the Championship table and are effectively six points from safety due to an inferior goal difference. The Sky Blues remain ninth and are four points outside the playoffs.

Shaun Maloney made five changes to his line-up after the defeat to Burnley on Saturday. Steven Caulker came in for the suspended Omar Rekik, whilst Christ Tiehi, James McClean, Danel Sinani and Will Keane all returned to the starting XI.

The visitors started confidently and from a 30-yard free-kick Gustavo Hamer forced Ben Amos into tipping the ball over the crossbar.

Matt Godden then fired straight at Amos, before Sinani tested keeper Wilson with a low strike from the edge of the box.

Godden then had a header sail over the crossbar before Max Power fired over from 30-yards.

Sinani was proving to be a threat and he again tried his luck from 30 yards, but Wilson got down well tip it wide for another corner.

It was end-to-end stuff as Hamer put through Sean Maguire who rounded Amos, but Charlie Hughes did superbly to clear off the line.

Latics again went close as Tendayi Darikwa’s side footed strike from inside the box was blocked.

Maloney’s men had probably edged the first half in a game with plenty of chances at both ends.

Mark Robbins made two changes at half-time as the visitors needed to up their game.

Early in the second half Godden fired over over from 25 yards. Then on 52 minutes Max Power gave the ball away in midfield, Jake Bidwell’s cross from the left found Gyokeres in the box and as Amos hesitated to come out for the cross the Sky Blues leading scorer headed into the net.

Maloney made three changes on 61 minutes as Tom Pearce, Thelo Aasgaard and Josh Magennis replaced Ashley Fletcher, Darikwa and Tiehi.

Magennis had an opportunity soon afterwards and although he failed to get a shot on target, he found James McClean at the back post but the Republic of Ireland winger slipped at the vital moment and the chance went begging.

Substitute Callum Lang did well to evade several defenders before firing a dangerous low cross which was met by Keane, but keeper Wilson managed to collect the ball at the second attempt.

Latics eventually got their reward for their hard work with seven minutes remaining. After some concerted pressure, Keane fed Nyambe inside the box and his shot was deflected off McFadzean and into the Coventry net.

Both sides tried for the winner but neither team could get the upper hand and the game finished level. Latics had perhaps lacked the quality to win the game but they had shown great spirit and commitment against a strong team pushing for the playoffs.

All the Latics players had given 100 per cent effort, but Hughes, McClean and Nyambe in particular had been excellent.


Latics players and staff are still awaiting payment of their wages after the club failed to pay them for a fourth time. They are now facing a three point deduction from the EFL, which if enforced this season could effectively relegate the club.

There is no doubt Latics are in difficult times both on and off the pitch but the players and staff have showed their commitment to the cause in the last few days with a hard-working performance against Coventry. 

There have been reports that Maloney will travel to Bahrain at the weekend to meet up with the owner. The owner Mr Al Jasmi needs to give Maloney and his staff reassurances about the future financing of the club and commit to no further late payment of wages.

It has to be hoped that Maloney stays in charge going forward. After rallying his players in difficult times he deserves the opportunity remain as manager, whether it be in the Championship or League One.

Championship Table

Post match comments

Speaking to the media after the game, Maloney complimented his side for their first-half performance and their efforts throughout the 90 minutes to do themselves and the supporters proud.

“In the first half, I really liked (the performance) during large parts,” he said.

“We were still a little bit too open on the counter attack for my liking, but in terms of how good we were on the ball and how aggressive we were in the final third, I was happy.

“I think the biggest disappointment was not going into half-time leading the game. 

“Coventry were very good at the start of the second half, as they made changes and stopped how we could play. 

“We never got started, and I had to make the game very open to try and get back into it. We cannot fault what the players are giving us. 

“When the ball goes in, we have five players in our box. Our structure should never allow a free header, and it did. We have to defend the box better and get back to how we were in the first five games to win games.”

It has, without doubt, been a difficult few days for everyone associated with the Football Club, and Maloney credited the players for their desire to try and get all three points at the DW Stadium.

“It’s been a unique situation, but I cannot be critical about the players at all. They gave absolutely everything to try and win that game, and not get beat. That’s the bare minimum that the support requires and they can see that from the players. 

“You could feel the connection between the fans and the players and we have to keep going.”

Player ratings

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About ianhaspinall

Communications specialist, Wigan Athletic fan & blogger, interested in music, arts & culture.
This entry was posted in Championship, Coventry City, Kyle McFadzean, Shaun Maloney, Victor Gyokeres, Wigan Athletic and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Spirited Latics pick up a point – Wigan Athletic 1 Coventry City 1

  1. What can I say? In differing circumstances a very decent point but obviously not enough in the grand scheme of things. I won’t brag about our ‘six of the best’ performance which came from who knows where, but QPR were the worst side by a mile I have seen at Bloomfield this season.

    • ianhaspinall says:

      Congratulations on your result. Looks like QPR might be dragged into the relegation scrap. Maloney is doing a great job for us on the pitch but off the field matters are now our biggest concern.

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