Two-goal hero gets Hug-e pat on back
MIDDLESBROUGH boss Tony Pulis hailed the hard work of two-goal hero Jordan Hugill.
The striker tucked away a 38th-minute penalty and added a second before the break to grab his first two league goals for his hometown club on a seasonlong loan from West Ham.
That meant Boro stretched their unbeaten run in all competitions to six matches.
Hugill has not started a game for the Hammers despite costing £10million from Preston in January.
And Pulis said: “I was really pleased Jordan got the two goals. What people have missed is the lad went to West Ham where he wasn’t really involved and in pre-season he got an injury.
“He came here really cold and his fitness levels were nowhere near the rest of the group. But he’s worked really hard and in the last few games we’ve seen some good signs.
“The players are delighted for him because he’s such a good lad and he has his qualities.”
It was Wigan’s first game since a £22m takeover by the International Entertainment Corporation but, with injuries and the suspension of Sam Morsy, it was always going to be a tall order for the Latics who have now lost four games in a row and seven in succession away from home.
But boss Paul Cook said: “We’re very disappointed. We’re in the midst of a really disappointing run. We were playing a very strong team and you know you’re going to come under pressure here.
“But the goals we’re giving away are not coming from pressure. They’re coming from individual mistakes.
“They say it can’t rain forever but we’ve just come off the pitch and it was pouring!’’
Wigan’s goal led a charmed life until Cedric Kipre made it easy for George Friend to win the penalty and Hugill sent keeper Christian Walton the wrong way. It was the first spot-kick Boro had scored at home for two seasons.
Hugill doubled his tally when Martin Braithwaite swept the ball in from the left and, though Walton got a hand to it, the man of the moment chested down and hammered home a half-volley.
GOOD WORK: Jordan Hugill