01 February 2022

Leam Richardson finds the positives as Wigan held by Oxford

01 February 2022

Wigan boss Leam Richardson was pleased with his side’s performance despite dropping points for the second game running in a 1-1 draw against Oxford at the DW Stadium.

The visitors hit the front in superb fashion in the 23rd minute when Matty Taylor rounded off a wonderfully worked team goal after Mark Sykes picked up possession in his own half before linking up well with Cameron Brannagan.

The hosts were on level terms 13 minutes later when Callum Lang controlled a long ball from Max Power before rolling it into the bottom left corner.

Richardson said: “The only disappointing thing is we didn’t win tonight.

“Our lads have got some good character and you’re playing against a really good team, in my opinion they are well coached.

“The squad depth they’ve got, the quality of player, they’ll be a top-four team in the division.

“I thought they started the game ever so well for 20 minutes and with our lads, the endeavour that they showed, we took the game to them and tried to match them.”

Wigan had the ball in the back of the net in the second-half through Josh Magennis but the offside flag cut celebrations short, while U’s keeper Jack Stevens was called upon several times to deny Wigan the three points.

“We put over 20 crosses in there and with the plethora of players they’ve got and the squad I think we limited them and managed to take four points off a top-four side which is a positive,” Richardson said.

“We’ve showed we had to defend and had to stand up, I thought our energy levels and momentum was shifting towards their goal.”

The Latics will take on Championship opposition on the weekend in the form of Stoke in the FA Cup but Richardson insists he will treat it the same as any other game.

He added: “Cheltenham and Oxford are no different, and again Stoke from a different division will be a good healthy challenge for us.”

Oxford boss Karl Robinson thought his side were the better team for the first half and a positive result means they have now gone three league games unbeaten.

He said: “I thought the first half we were the best team, we dominated possession of the football, we caused them problems, I’ve not seen Wigan change their shape this season and they had to change their shape 30 minutes in the first half.

“Tactically we got everything right, the players were very good in possession and the goal is probably one of the best goals of the season.”

Oxford’s defence was tested in the second-half and picked up four yellow cards throughout the game.

Robinson added: “I think we’re getting a reputation of being a little bit of a dirty team and I like that.”

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