A Howson goal in the fourth minute sent Wigan to a home defeat giving Norwich their first win in ten matches and left Wigan firmly ensconced in the relegation zone Wigan manager Malky Mackay opted to alter the lien up from the previous game, creating a new centre half partnership no doubt with the aim of securing the first clean sheet in eight games by bringing in Figueroa to partner Barnett and also replacing Boyce with Perch at right back. Shaun Maloney also was returned to the starting lineup, replacing Adam Forshaw.
Whatever the aims of the back four reshuffle it clearly didn’t work as Barnett and Figueroa looked disjointed in the early stages and Figueroa allowed Howson too much time and space when set up by Hooper and the midfielder fired the ball past Carson for the games opening ( and it turned out only)goal Norwich were in irrepressible form against a Wigan side which for the first half was an embarrassment in terms of creativity and defence. Norwich in contrast played a fast passing game to the front two of Jerome and Hooper and the Canaries could have gone in at half time three or four goals to the good following good chances to Jerome, Hooper and Johnson.
Wigan placed an over reliance on McManaman and McClean getting down the wings and crossing in the centre in the vain hope that Fortune would be able to get on the end of them which didn’t happen. With a total lack of creativity in centre midfield , Latics best chances in the first half were long range shots from Fortune and McCann, the former not troubling Ruddy the Norwich keeper and the second well saved by the former England keeper. Wigan started the second half with more purpose and it became clear early on that Norwich were content to sit back and defend their lead looking to use the pace of Jerome on the counter attack. Wigan’s attack was in all honesty toothless, Fortune ran himself ragged with very little support when he did control the ball and look for support, both wingers produced more of the same without much end product and the centre midfield with Cowie replacing the struggling Maloney just after half time offered industry but little creativity. Wigan’s best chances were a diving header from one fo the few players to emerge with any credit….James Perch whose header from a McClean free kick didn’t find the back of the net and a goalmouth scramble following good work from Fortune on the dead ball line whose cross was spilled by Ruddy. Both McClean and McManaman had a stab at the ball but Norwich defenders blocked the ball and scrambled it clear.
Fortune was substituted with eight minutes to go by to the crowd’s surprise a midfi3elder in Roger Espinoza, McManaman and McClean switching to play as centre forwards with the Honduran going onto the left wing. With a minute to go Delort came on but had no time to insert himself into the proceedings and the game petered out and as the full time whistle blew, audible boos rang round the DW stadium , leaving the players, management and chairman with no illusions as to the task ahead of them if they are to retain their Championship stats Player Ratings
Carson……5, poor distribution.
Perch……..6, one of the few players to emerge with any credit.
Figueroa….5, poor first half out of position, better after the break.
Barnett……5, struggled to find a Wigan man with the ball.
Taylor…….5, little impact
McManaman….6, drifted in and out of the game
McCann…….5, outplayed by the Norwich midfield, withdrawn
Watson……5, looked off the pace.
Maloney…..5, looked out of sorts, withdrawn.
McClean…..5, ran around a lot
Fortune…..6.5, MOM, at least he tries, withdrawn
Cowie….5.5 looked like he was actually trying.
Entertainment rating…..2/10, crowds will start to drop with more performances like this, very poor
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