14 August 2021

Will Keane winner caps memorable day for Wigan, says Leam Richardson

14 August 2021

Wigan boss Leam Richardson saluted a memorable day as Will Keane’s last-gasp goal gave his team a 1-0 win against Rotherham.

The Latics fans officially welcomed new chairman Talal Al Hammad just before kick-off, and Keane struck in the fifth minute of stoppage time to snatch three points.

“That kind of thing is exactly why we’re all in football,” said Richardson.

“Of course the day had started so well for everyone here. The fans returned to the stadium at long last and they were able to be here to welcome our new chairman.

“The atmosphere was brilliant and the fans gave Mr Al Hammad a terrific reception. It was a great way to start the day, and a great way to finish it with the late goal.

“We’re making small steps, but they’re the right steps in my opinion.

“We’ve got some tough games coming up, including this Tuesday here. Wycombe will be another tough test as they will be up there in the top two, three or four.

“Credit to my lads, though. I told them before the game that we needed to impose ourselves on Rotherham.

“Fair play to Will to grab the winner, too. He missed one earlier, but it’s important that strikers are just there in the right positions.

“He grabbed the goal at the end and I think we deserved to win the game overall.”

Rotherham went closest in the first half when Jamie Lindsay’s curling strike was brilliantly saved by Ben Amos.

The woodwork then saved Wigan towards the end of the game when Dan Barlaser rose to meet Michael Smith’s cross, but his header hit the crossbar and then the post.

However, it was Wigan who clinched the points thanks to Keane’s last-gasp strike, one which clearly stunned Rotherham boss Paul Warne.

He said: “To be honest I was pretty pleased with the overall performance of the team.

“I was proud of how the players acquitted themselves over the course of the 90 minutes.

“We’ve not helped ourselves though.

“You can’t go giving away free-kicks around your own box in the last minute of a game.

“We’ve done that today, they’ve scored and we’ve been punished. Perhaps we gave away too many needless free-kicks today.

“Having said that, though, I still think we can take a lot of heart from the way in which we played and the commitment that I saw out there.

“Of course it’s a disappointing outcome, but there were some amazing individual performances out there and the lads have given it everything.

“I can’t really ask any more of them, even when we do look back and reflect on a frustrating defeat.”

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