15 February 2022

Leam Richardson hails ‘very professional performance’ as Wigan beat lowly Crewe

15 February 2022

Wigan boss Leam Richardson hailed a “very professional performance” from his side who cemented second spot in Sky Bet League One thanks to a 2-0 victory over strugglers Crewe.

Second-half goals from Callum Lang and James McClean gave the Latics a deserved victory, which extended their buffer to third spot to five points, with three games in hand.

It also means they travel to leaders Rotherham on Friday only six points off the pace, having played two games fewer than Paul Warne’s men.

“It was a very professional performance,” said Richardson. “You’ve always got to respect Crewe, they’re a good side with some good players.

“And you’ve got to be careful you don’t kind of sleepwalk into something.

“I thought they started the game really brightly. But the longer the game went on, we grew into it.

“And as soon as we scored the first goal, we stayed in control.

“When fixtures are coming thick and fast. It’s important we get the information into the players and they buy into it.

“No games in this league are easy – especially on a Tuesday night in February in a three-game week.

“You’ve got to stay professional, make sure you all do your own jobs and do it to the best of your ability.

“We were determined not to get anxious at any point.

“And I thought the longer the game went on, the calmer we got and with the intensity we play with, we know we’re always going to create chances.”

For Crewe boss David Artell, it was another defeat – but with plenty of positives to cling to.

“As I said to the players after the game, I can’t accept any less than that now for the rest of the season,” he said.

“To see so many of them flagging with five minutes to go shows how much effort they put in.

“And that’s got to be the case now in every game, not just against the top teams in the nicest stadiums.

“I still feel we’ve got a chance, because that’s the foundation we have in place. The minimum requirement.

“To a man I thought the players stuck to their tasks and – on another day – might have got something from the game.

“It was a far better performance than what we’ve shown of late and that’s what I was after.

“The players are not stupid, I don’t lie to them, I tell them how it is.

“They’ll all know they’ve put in a shift tonight. And if they do that, they know they’ve got a very good chance of picking up points.

“We’re not going to be playing Wigan Athletic every week.

“This is a Championship football club in everything but name – the stadium, the size of the squad, the quality of players and the financial backing.

“We’ve stayed in the game as long as we can and I think the fans saw a committed performance – far more committed than in other games this season.”

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