Su­per-sub Nick gives Lat­ics a shot at survival

The Football League Paper - - CHAMPIONSHIP - By Will Reilly

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

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