Wigan boss Leam Richardson: It was everything we expected and more from the day

Latics returned to the Sky Bet Championship with a goalless draw against Preston.

By Press Association Published: 30 July 2022 - 5.38pm

Leam Richardson felt his Wigan side gave “a good account of themselves” as they drew 0-0 with Preston on their return to the Sky Bet Championship.

Last season’s League One winners gave as good as they got at the DW but could not force home their numerical advantage in the last 10 minutes.

Preston substitute Ched Evans was sent off for a two-footed lunge on a grounded Curtis Tilt, but Wigan skipper Tendayi Darikwa saw a late shot deflected just over.

“I certainly don’t think the sending-off helped us in the closing stages,” reflected Richardson.

“Looking at the first half, I thought they probably shaded it with the couple of chances they created right at the end.

“But in the second half I thought we came into it more, and when it was 11 against 11 we were pushing up and creating spaces.

“After the sending off they were able to drop that extra 10 yards, denying us that space, and we have to be better in moving the ball around.

“On reflection, a clean sheet, a point on the board, with the same team that won us promotion, I think these lads have done great.

“It was everything we expected and more from the day, a big derby on the opening weekend.

“The crowd would have enjoyed it, I thought the pace of the game was excellent and the players all gave a good account of themselves.”

Wigan were indebted to goalkeeper Ben Amos, who pulled off a stunning double save on half-time to deny Troy Parrott and Emil Riis.

“Obviously when the game finishes 0-0, a great save is as good as a goal,” added the Wigan boss.

“The concentration levels he showed is exactly what you want from a goalkeeper.”

The major downside for Wigan was the first-half loss of defensive rock Jack Whatmough to a worrying-looking leg injury.

Meanwhile, Preston manager Ryan Lowe was pleased with the point after Evans’ late red card.

“We could be better in possession, we had some good moments and some good patterns of play, we got some great opportunities and could have scored a couple of goals,” he said.

“Ultimately Wigan put their bodies on the line for the cause and they had some moments of play and there were good things from them.

“I thought there were two teams definitely trying to win the game and get the points at either end.

“I was more pleased with the reaction when we went down to 10 men.

“I think sometimes we could have had a soft underbelly last season and lost that, but the back lads were resilient.

“I’d have liked a bit more, I would have liked a couple of goals.

“I thought we had some great chances to score some goals, the goalkeeper makes a double save, clear-cut chances.

“If they go in it’s a different game. But the resilience that the lads showed for the last 10 minutes…they’re battered and bruised there.

“It was a point, I’d have loved three points but, as the lads said in there, if you can’t win it then you don’t get beat.

“Give Wigan credit as well, they were at the other end trying to create chances and caused us problems, but I’d like to think we dealt with large parts of it.”

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