Leam Richardson’s side are four points clear at the top (Zac Goodwin/PA)
12 April 2022

Leam Richardson hails Kelland Watts’ late clearance as Wigan earn draw at Burton

12 April 2022

Wigan boss Leam Richardson praised defender Kelland Watts for an outstanding stoppage-time clearance that secured a point from a goalless draw with Burton.

In a game of few chances, both goalkeepers impressed when called upon but it was Watts who was the hero at the end, heading Joe Powell’s lob off his own line with Ben Amos beaten.

“That is probably one of the best clearances I have seen, certainly live,” said Richardson.

“It’s never a lost cause and once the mistake is made you have to cover for that and thankfully Kell, as a defender, has sensed danger and kept it as a draw.”

Richardson was pleased with a point from a hard-fought game where chances were at a premium and they struggled to break down a stubborn Burton defence.

“It was exactly what we thought,” he said. “You come here to Burton on a Tuesday night with a forward thinking and forward running team and you have to be respectful of yourself and the opposition and I thought they kept us healthy all night.

“There weren’t many chances within the game. The best chances for Burton came from our mistakes and ours came from their mistakes as well. It was that type of game and the sort of game where you need to be really good at the small things because you have to first win the fight and hopefully a bit of quality can come out.”

The point extends Wigan’s lead at the top of the table to four and their boss just wants to continue accumulating points.

“It was important that we left tonight with more points than we came with and I thought we worked hard enough to do that,” he added.

Burton boss Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink felt his side should have come off the pitch with all three points instead of just one after a second successive goalless draw.

“I think we should have won,” Hasselbaink stated. “I thought we were tremendous. After Saturday that performance was even better. We had chances, good chances and they had one in the first half where we needed our goalkeeper.

“Wigan are a very good team. They are top of the league and not because of luck. They are at it week in and week out and they have really good players and I think we stayed with them. I think we made them look ordinary.”

Had it not been for Watts’ clearance then Albion would have had the win and Hasselbaink rued Powell’s bad luck.

“It is a great goal-line clearance. Powelly is unlucky but we were unlucky with some other chances as well,” he added.

“I am pleased with the performance, not so much with the result but it is another clean sheet.

“That means we only needed one goal but it was not our day. I said to the boys that if they keep on making these kind of performances and keep doing the right things, eventually we will get the rub of the green.”

The best videos delivered daily

Watch the stories that matter, right from your inbox