Leam Richardson was pleased to see Wigan rise to the challenge (Barrington Coombs/PA)
01 October 2022

Leam Richardson hails Wigan for rising to challenge posed by managerless Millers

01 October 2022

Wigan manager Leam Richardson praised his team for rising to the challenges they had prepared for in their 2-0 victory at managerless Rotherham.

Goals in either half settled the contest for the away side who kept up their unbeaten start to the league campaign on the road and ended the Millers’ unbeaten streak at home.

It was a disappointing first managerial experience for players Richard Wood and Lee Peltier, who have assumed caretaker control, with Rotherham failing to create many chances throughout the game.

Wood and Peltier are at the helm temporarily while chairman Tony Stewart hunts a permanent replacement for Paul Warne, who has departed for Derby after almost six years in charge.

Exeter boss Matt Taylor claims he has been offered the position and will be mulling it over in the coming days.

Wigan went ahead with only 12 minutes gone with Charlie Wyke sneaking in down the right wing and finding strike partner Will Keane, who smashed clinically beyond Viktor Johansson.

Rotherham’s response saw Wes Harding test Ben Amos with a long-range effort and Chiedozie Ogbene denied by a retreating James McClean header off the line.

The home side’s best openings came just before the break, with Wood himself heading wide from a corner.

Wigan looked the most likely to score in the second half and after McClean had been denied one-on-one by Johansson, they secured the points from the resulting corner in the 84th minute.

Jack Whatmough headed the ball back into the six-yard box and Tom Naylor was perfectly placed to divert it into the net.

Richardson said: “It’s very pleasing. The credit goes to the players – it was a good working week. We knew the challenges we would be facing against Rotherham. Their output is very strong and you have got to match it.

“We started the game terrific, it evened its way out before half-time and I thought we controlled the second half in large parts.

“I didn’t expect anything different (after Warne’s departure). You have to defend and I thought we defended really well and looked a threat on the counter all afternoon as well.

“The first goal was very well worked. There were a lot of things we have worked on and it’s pleasing when it comes through.

“I felt we deserved the second goal. We were the ones with the impetus to try and see the game out.”

Wood said: “I am very disappointed with how we turned out and performed because it wasn’t us. It just wasn’t there.

“People underperformed and we were just not at the races.

“Preparation this week has been very good. The tempo in training has been very good. We were as prepared as we have always been.

“I don’t know if emotionally it took a toll on certain players. When so many underperform you are never going to win a game. It’s a big thing that has happened, losing the manager of six years.

“We did not start well. We were like rabbits in headlights. We will see where we went wrong on Monday.

“I have loved this week. I did not realise how much work goes into it behind the scenes. I have grown into it during the week.

“I will do it for as long as possible and see what happens but I have no idea what is going on behind the scenes.”

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