02 September 2023

Shaun Maloney unhappy with wasteful Wigan after Blackpool defeat

02 September 2023

Shaun Maloney criticised Wigan’s first-half performance after seeing his side fall to a 2-1 defeat against Blackpool at Bloomfield Road.

The Tangerines were 1-0 up inside five minutes when Jordan Rhodes scored his first goal for the club.

Wigan’s Josh Magennis headed Latics level with a minute of normal time left to play, but Kenny Dougall capped a crazy conclusion to the contest by scoring the winner in the fourth minute of injury time.

However, Maloney was more concerned about his team’s first-half performance than the late goal.

He said: “What I saw from the team in the last 20 minutes is everything that I want from our team, but we have to learn pretty quickly that we can’t just waste a half of football.

“It was the first half that I was probably most disappointed with. The goal at the end, however disappointing, I can’t have any criticism of our players.

“The biggest thing I have to impress is the first half, we can’t waste a half of football like that.

“What I’m finding out as well is it’s a really big game, a really big opponent in this league, and that we have to be a bit more aggressive and understand when we can really attack now that we’re getting teams to give us the ball.

“It was the same at Barnsley and we have to understand the balance between being patient, but when a team does give you that space or we can create, we have to be more aggressive.

“But we just can’t waste a half and then expect to win the game.”

In stark contrast, Blackpool boss Neil Critchley was delighted to see his side play so well in the opening 45 minutes.

“I felt we were comfortable in the first half against a really good football team and then we had chances in the second half to kill the game off,” said Critchley.

“The goalkeeper has made some great saves, and you know that while it is 1-0, they can throw more attackers on, and you are just hoping that you either kill the game off at the other end or that you can see the game out and we didn’t quite see it out.

“I’m delighted with the result. I think we deserved it to be honest with the chances that we created in the game. We showed tremendous character and started really well.

“The three subs combined, Owen (Dale) to Matty (Virtue) to Kenny (Dougall), they made an impact when they came on and it was a brilliant feeling for the players.

“They deserved that and I don’t think they have had what they deserved in some of the other games recently.”

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