TIME TO STAY CALM, SAYS COOL COYLE
OWEN Coyle insists his side will keep their feet firmly on the ground after hammering ten-man Barnsley on his managerial debut with Wigan.
Ben Watson and Grant Holt scored either side of half-time – with Tykes debutant Dale Jennings seeing red afterwards – while Leon Barnett and Shaun Maloney completed the rout.
Coyle says he would like to add to his squad and also retain his star players.
“If someone had told me before the game the performance would be of that stature, we would have grabbed it with both hands,” he said.
“But I stress anyone who comes to Barnsley and think they’re going to be handed anything are sadly mistaken.
“We knew we had to stand toe-to-toe with them, which we did. We felt there were good performances in us and it was great to see it come to fruition.
“We could have had a few more, but there are still 45 games to go. I was a pleasing start, though, no doubt about it.
“We had offensive players working their socks off, and a real pleasing thing is to come to Barnsley and get a clean sheet.
“I’ve still got one or two pieces of the jigsaw to bring in. I’ve had no offers or enquiries for any of my players.
“The big one will be James McCarthy as he is a hugely talented player, but we’ve had no offers for him.”
The Latics could have gone ahead on 13 minutes when Maloney connected with Jean Beausejour’s cross but fired straight at Luke Steele.
Geoff Eltringham waved away a Wigan penalty appeal when Barnett went down under Scott Golbourne’s challenge from James McArthur’s cross.
Wigan’s early pressure paid off as they took a 37th-minute lead when Watson fired in a 30-yard shot that flew past a diving Steele.
Golbourne prevented Wigan doubling the lead with a 53rdminute goal line clearance from McArthur.
But, from the resulting corner, Holt scored on his Wigan competitive debut, flicking home Emmerson Boyce’s shot from Beausejour’s corner.
Jennings was on the pitch for only five minutes after seeing a straight red card for a twofooted challenge on McArthur. From Maloney’s 79th-minute corner, Barnett scrambled in Wigan’s third.
And Maloney got his reward on 88 minutes, tapping home from substitute Marc-Antoine Fortune’s low cross.
Barnsley boss David Flitcroft had no complaints with Jennings’ dismissal and believes Wigan took their chances at key times. They scored in our best spell and, once they did, they were on the up,” he said.
“There was not much in it in the first half, they had decent possession without really threatening us.
“I think he’s (Jennings) gone airborne and he gave the referee an easy decision.
“If you’re two feet off the ground, you give the referee an easy decision. I didn’t think it was reckless but he’s given the referee no choice.
“They had no apprehension about their performance and they were dominant certainly after Dale got sent off .
“I was hurting for the players as I didn’t feel they deserved to be passed to death.
“There have been disappointing aspects with our work but we are going back to the drawing board.
“We’ve come up against an excellent team but there are another 135 points to go in this league.”
LOVING IT: Grant Holt is mobbed by teammates after scoring Wigan’s second. Inset: The challenge on James McArthur that saw Dale Jennings sent off