WIGAN FIND FORTUNE DOESN’T GO THEIR WAY
WIGAN boss Uwe Rosler was left to rue his side’s toothlessness after a dire draw handed QPR the advantage going into Monday’s decider at Loftus Road.
In a game of few chances and little incident, Wigan missed a golden chance to break the deadlock when Marc-Antoine Fortune blazed over with the goal gaping.
And after drawing four blanks in the their last eight games, Rosler is expecting more ruthlessness in the second leg.
“I don’t think a draw was a fair result,” said the German.“We played well, we had some really big chances. But at the moment we are not scoring many goals. We need a killer instinct in the box, especially when the crosses come in.
“We were too cautious at times but we are not unhappy. We go there with confidence and we have a good chance to win.”
With the division’s most fatigued side playing host to its most elderly, only the most deluded optimist could have expected a classic.
And the first 45 minutes utterly lived down to that billing, a niggly, attritional foul fest which brought only four yellow cards and off the ball incidents galore.
Luckily for Clint Hill, ref Mike Jones missed a naughty-looking elbow to the back of Rob Kiernan’s head which could easily have left Rangers a man light for 80 minutes. Likewise, Gary Caldwell must have feared worse than a yellow when he pole-axed Junior Hoilett.
Jordi Gomez did eventually test Rob Green with a well-struck half-volley, but it was little more than a routine save for the exEngland man.
Talking of former England keepers, Scott Carson had things even easier. Over the course of the 90 minutes, the Wigan stopper barely had to catch a cross while his only real save came from an Armand Traore bobbler.
Fortune hacked over from eight yards, Emmerson Boyce sent a header over. James Perch also failed to connect with Jean Beausejour’s cross, but if this gives the impression of Wigan dominance, don’t be fooled.
Rangers’ back four also had the cigars out, with the likes of Richard Dunne and Clint Hill proving just how valuable experience is on nights like things. Nedum Onuoha, too, looked every inch the Premier League defender he once was.
“We did have to defend, and the lads did it well,” said Harry Redknapp. “But I picked an attacking team. I played with two out-and-out wingers and a striker, Ravel Morrison, in behind.
“Some of my staff and people around the club were actually telling me I should have been a bit more defensive in a first leg. But I wanted an open-looking side.
“It was a match between two evenly balanced teams.They’re a good side and they’ll always be a threat on the counter. We beat them at our place but you could tell what a good side they were. I wouldn’t like to pick the favourite.”
STAR MAN NEDUM ONUOH