Charlton 0 Wigan 0: Unworried Owen Coyle denies any European hangover

 

The Valley

Owen Coyle denies that European exertions are having a detrimental effect on Wigan’s promotion bid but competing at home and abroad may be catching up with his side.

Less than 72 hours after drawing with Rubin Kazan in the Europa League, Wigan laboured to an uninspiring point at Charlton.

The Latics had coped well before with the Thursday-Sunday routine, winning their previous two Championship games after European fixtures, but they showed signs of fatigue as they missed an opportunity to close the gap to the promotion pack. They remain unbeaten in Europe but returning to the Premier League is the absolute priority this season – and  yesterday’s draw leaves them eight points below the play-off zone.

Wigan’s schedule is more intense than that of any other team in the division; this was the first of three games in six days that should give a better indication of whether they can make up lost ground. Home fixtures against Queen’s Park Rangers and Huddersfield Town now look crucial.

Scott Carson, whom Coyle has backed to earn an England recall for the World Cup, was injured during the warm-up at The Valley so Lee Nicholls started in goal. The 21-year-old saved well from Bradley Pritchard early on as Wigan struggled for rhythm.  Pritchard then missed the target from 10 yards after Cameron Stewart’s pull-back.

Charlton were dealt a blow just  before the break when key man Yann Kermorgant, making his first start in over a month, had to be withdrawn with the ankle injury that has so far blighted his season.

Wigan did improve after the restart.  Chris McCann rocked the bar with a header, James McArthur and Ben Watson both went close and Nick Powell volleyed over from four yards.

“You saw the chances but we need to be more ruthless,” admitted Coyle, who started with six of the team who played on Thursday.

“Credit to Charlton, but with the clear opportunities we had we should be leaving with the three points. But I’m not unduly worried. We’ve got good players. We’ve got to keep banging on the door and then there will be a flood. In the second half we were terrific. You can’t fault the players’ energy, desire and what they’re bringing over the season. We will be where we need to be.”

News
election 2015The 10 best quotes of the campaign
News
A caravan being used as a polling station in Ford near Salisbury, during the 2010 election
election 2015The Independent's guide to get you through polling day
News
people
Voices
David Blunkett joins the Labour candidate for Redcar Anna Turley on a campaigning visit last month
voicesWhat I learnt from my years in government, by the former Home Secretary David Blunkett
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

General Election 2015: ‘We will not sit down with Nicola Sturgeon’, says Ed Balls

'We will not sit down with Nicola Sturgeon'

In an exclusive interview, Ed Balls says he won't negotiate his first Budget with SNP MPs - even if Labour need their votes to secure its passage
VE Day 70th anniversary: How ordinary Britons celebrated the end of war in Europe

How ordinary Britons celebrated VE Day

Our perception of VE Day usually involves crowds of giddy Britons casting off the shackles of war with gay abandon. The truth was more nuanced
They came in with William Caxton's printing press, but typefaces still matter in the digital age

Typefaces still matter in the digital age

A new typeface once took years to create, now thousands are available at the click of a drop-down menu. So why do most of us still rely on the old classics, asks Meg Carter?
Discovery of 'missing link' between the two main life-forms on Earth could explain evolution of animals, say scientists

'Missing link' between Earth's two life-forms found

New microbial species tells us something about our dark past, say scientists
The Pan Am Experience is a 'flight' back to the 1970s that never takes off - at least, not literally

Pan Am Experience: A 'flight' back to the 70s

Tim Walker checks in and checks out a four-hour journey with a difference
Humans aren't alone in indulging in politics - it's everywhere in the animal world

Humans aren't alone in indulging in politics

Voting, mutual back-scratching, coups and charismatic leaders - it's everywhere in the animal world
Crisp sales are in decline - but this tasty trivia might tempt back the turncoats

Crisp sales are in decline

As a nation we're filling up on popcorn and pitta chips and forsaking their potato-based predecessors
Ronald McDonald the muse? Why Banksy, Ron English and Keith Coventry are lovin' Maccy D's

Ronald McDonald the muse

A new wave of artists is taking inspiration from the fast food chain
13 best picnic blankets

13 best picnic blankets

Dine al fresco without the grass stains and damp bottoms with something from our pick of picnic rugs
Barcelona 3 Bayern Munich 0 player ratings: Lionel Messi scores twice - but does he score highest in our ratings?

Barcelona vs Bayern Munich player ratings

Lionel Messi scores twice - but does he score highest in our ratings?
Martin Guptill: Explosive New Zealand batsman who sets the range for Kiwis' big guns

Explosive batsman who sets the range for Kiwis' big guns

Martin Guptill has smashed early runs for Derbyshire and tells Richard Edwards to expect more from the 'freakish' Brendon McCullum and his buoyant team during their tour of England
General Election 2015: Ed Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

He was meant to be Labour's biggest handicap - but has become almost an asset
General Election 2015: A guide to the smaller parties, from the the National Health Action Party to the Church of the Militant Elvis Party

On the margins

From Militant Elvis to Women's Equality: a guide to the underdogs standing in the election
Amr Darrag: Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister in exile still believes Egypt's military regime can be replaced with 'moderate' Islamic rule

'This is the battle of young Egypt for the future of our country'

Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister Amr Darrag still believes the opposition can rid Egypt of its military regime and replace it with 'moderate' Islamic rule, he tells Robert Fisk
Why patients must rely less on doctors: Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'

Why patients must rely less on doctors

Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'