Half-time Jewell talk brings best from Wigan

Wigan Athletic 4 - Coventry City 1
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The Independent Football

They are a little bit sensitive about the matter of crowds at Wigan these days. As Paul Jewell's exciting Athletic side sit proudly at the head of the Championship, a position bolstered emphatically by this result, there is some annoyance among the club's public-relations people over the media harping on about how few people turn up.

It is kinder to harp on about how good Wigan are. Arsenal apart, Athletic remained the only unbeaten side in the four divisions after Saturday's victory.

Having been off the pace in a first half controlled by Coventry, and a little fortunate that Alan Mahon's early 25-yarder meant Eddie Johnson's clever header did not give the visitors the lead, they improved immeasurably in the second period, when three goals, including an 11th of the season for Nathan Ellington, did not flatter them. They could even afford for Jason Roberts to miss a penalty.

"There were a few things that needed ironing out at half-time and I think the players responded very well," Jewell said, underplaying the rollicking he had doubtless dished out.

His fellow Liverpudlian Peter Reid whose Coventry side have not won in nine Championship games, must wish his scouse wisdom could yield similar dividends.

Goals: Mahon (15) 1-0; Johnson (32) 1-1; Graham (53) 2-1; Ellington (63) 3-1; Flynn (90) 4-1.

Wigan Athletic (4-4-2): Filan; Wright, Breckin, Jackson, Baines; Graham, Bullard, Mahon, McCulloch; Roberts, Ellington (Flynn, 89). Substitutes not used: Walsh (gk), Mitchell, McMillan, Whalley.

Coventry City (4-4-2): Steele; Carey, Shaw, Leacock, Staunton; Morrell (McSheffrey, 86), Hughes, Doyle, Ricketts (Gudjonsson, 73); Johnson, John (Suffo, 86). Substitutes not used: Shearer (gk), Deloumeaux.

Referee: P Crossley (Kent).

Booked: Wigan: Mahon.

Sent off: Coventry: Staunton (79).

Man of the match: Roberts.

Attendance: 9,632.