Super-sub Nick gives Latics a shot at survival
NICK Powell should be a Premier League player according to Graham Barrow – but the Wigan interim boss was delighted to have the 23-year-old at his disposal as he came off the bench to score an 11-minute hattrick and keep the Latics’ survival hopes alive with victory over Barnsley.
Defeat would have left Wigan eight points from safety with just three games remaining, and at 2-0 down they looked dead and buried, but Powell came off the bench with 25 minutes to go to turn the game around.
The path to survival remains a tricky one, with a trip to promotion-chasing Brighton on Monday, but Barrow has urged supporters to stand by the team in their bid to stay up.
He said: “On talent alone Nick Powell deserves to be in the Premier League and that’s why you put him in that bracket.
“I am just glad for the supporters that we have given them something back for sticking with us all season; we have just got to carry on now. It would be fantastic to take it to the final day of the season, if we can’t do it before.
“I’d be lying if I said I thought he could go on and get a hattrick but then you know he’s always going to make an impact.
“At 2-0 down with so long left in the game it was by no means over, but Nick got the goals so early and made the win a possibility.”
Barnsley had taken the lead just before half-time through Adam Armstrong, and looked in complete control when Ryan Kent’s screamer went in just before the hour.
But Barrow turned to Powell, who had also scored the winner against Rotherham last week, and he scored twice in a minute before sealing the three points with a penalty eight minutes from time.
And Barnsley boss Paul Heckingbottom was understandably frustrated at throwing away three points.
He said: “At 2-0, we were defending well and they had lots of shots from distance and we weren’t really troubled. We were a constant threat on the counter.
“After the second goal, we started to control the ball a lot better and it was a crazy five minutes. “We focus on us and our players and mistakes are mistakes. You have to limit them if you want to play as high as you can and we know that.
“It’s cost us the game, and the players concerned know about it. They know exactly what they’ve done wrong and if that happens they don’t play.”
DELIGHT: Wigan’s Nick Powell has just scored their second
S M N PO Wiga