Charlton 0 Wigan 0: Unworried Owen Coyle denies any European hangover
Sunday 27 October 2013
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were dealt a blow just before the break when key man Yann Kermorgant, making his first start in over a month, had to be withdrawn with the ankle injury that has so far blighted his season.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.”
Latest in Sport
Liverpool injury news: Simon Mignolet set to replace injured Brad Jones but Dejan Lovren and Glen Johnson remain on the sidelines
Manchester United injury news: Angel Di Maria unlikely to face Spurs as Marouane Fellaini's 'mystery illness' turns out to be rib injury
Arsenal vs QPR player ratings: Could anyone outshine new Gunners hero Alexis Sanchez and who was worse than villain Olivier Giroud?
Manchester City team news: Manuel Pellegrini hopes to have Vincent Kompany back for Burnley visit but hopes not to risk Stevan Jovetic
Neil Warnock sacked: Tim Sherwood fits role at Crystal Palace
- 1 The political parties aren't all the same – which means 2015 will be a 'big-choice' election
- 2 President of Argentina adopts Jewish godson to 'stop him turning into a werewolf'
- 3 ALS ice bucket challenge co-founder Corey Griffin drowns, aged 27
- 4 The 'Black Museum': After 150 years, public set to see exhibits from police’s grisly crime museum
British actor Idris Elba cannot star as James Bond because he is black, says shock jock Rush Limbaugh
Ukip member gets into Christmas spirit with Union Flag plea to Santa 'for our country back'
Germany anti-Islam protests: 17,000 march on Dresden against 'Islamification of the West'
Immigrants make UK racist, says Ukip councillor Trevor Shonk
BBC director Danny Cohen: Rising UK antisemitism makes me feel more uncomfortable than ever
Katie Hopkins speaks out on childhood obesity: 'Parents of fat children should be prosecuted for child cruelty'