John Mousinho admitted Portsmouth’s Sky Bet League One title celebrations had an impact on their 2-1 defeat to Wigan.

Pompey had their return to the Championship confirmed after they beat Barnsley on Tuesday, but Luke Chambers and Josh Magennis spoilt their promotion party – which saw them lift the trophy as champions.

Mousinho said: “I think Wigan deserved to win. We were awful in the first half. I don’t think we got the press right.

“We were good in possession, but not out of possession, and we got punished for it. We changed things around for the second half and we were more aggressive and much better.

“Their second goal was poor defensively. We created more chances after our goal but just couldn’t get the equaliser.

“We wanted to go out on a high, so the players are obviously disappointed to have lost that unbeaten run.

“I thought we had enough in the tank pre-match to win it, but it’s been a difficult week in terms of normality. Winning on Tuesday, the euphoria of that, and the awards here on Wednesday meant the preparation was very different from the last 44 games.

“Next week will be back to normal in terms of physicality and mentally.”

Wigan’s Jonny Smith hit a post in the 13th minute, but the visitors took the lead 10 minutes later when Chambers put the loose ball past Pompey goalkeeper Will Norris.

Latics sealed the win when Magennis beat Norris with seven minutes to go, despite Kusini Yengi pulling one back for Pompey in the 85th minute.

Wigan manager Shaun Maloney said: “It was a game of two halves really. The first half was probably the best we’ve played all season. We had chances to increase the lead but didn’t take them. That would have made the game very different.

“Pompey were talking about keeping up their unbeaten run and reaching 100 points, but we wanted to win this game. We’ve had 500 fans travel down here today, so it was important we played well.

“Luke really hurt them the first half, and it would be great to have him back next season.

“Jonny’s really stepped up. I think if anything I need more from him next season. He needs a full pre-season and I think he’s a brilliant player.

“The game changed after their goal. Sam (Tickle) has made some tremendous saves getting in where it hurts. The scuffle at the end on the touchline was just about two teams wanting to win.”

Wycombe manager Matt Bloomfield saw his faith in Franco Ravizzoli repaid in his side’s 1-0 victory over Wigan in what turned out to be a tale of two goalkeepers.

A mid-table clash in Sky Bet League One was decided by an own goal from Sam Tickle, who has been enjoying a successful first season as Latics’ first choice.

His opposite number, Ravizzoli, then made sure the Chairboys won for the third time in four games with three fine saves in stoppage time.

The Argentinian was preferred to Max Stryjek despite his availability after suspension, and Bloomfield said: “I feel like my words to the players are ‘if you’re in possession (of your place) and you perform well, then you deserve to stay in’.

“So I had an opportunity tonight to back up my words with my actions and I felt like it was the right thing to do.

“Franco was fantastic on Saturday at Reading, he really helped us get the victory and there was no way he deserved to be left out tonight.

“Maxie was fully respectful of that, he’s obviously been fantastic for us this season and last season as well, but as with anything in sport you respect when someone’s performed well.

“He’s backed him up well tonight and he’s really played his part, as have all the squad. I thought Franco was excellent.

“I have to be really pleased with the resilience – I think it was a very ‘Wycombe’ defensive display.”

The home side’s winner came after 19 minutes when Josh Scowen’s mishit low cross was fumbled into his own net by Tickle at his near post.

Wigan grew stronger the longer the match wore on but were frustrated three times at the death as Ravizzoli denied Thelo Aasgaard, Charlie Hughes and Jordan Jones.

Latics boss Shaun Maloney said: “Second half we did everything but score, I can’t fault the players in the second half.

“I’m sorry for the fans that I can’t give them at least something to head back with.

“I think they could see the players’ performance and the team’s performance, but the first half cost us.

“The second half was excellent, really good, that’s how I want a Wigan team to play.

“The first half was opposite: everything was slow, everything was comfortable.

“It was a big mistake from our goalkeeper but Sam’s been incredible this season. I’ve said this numerous times, so that’s just an incident that can happen.

“Our general play was really poor, I was really unhappy at half-time, but the players that came on were excellent.

“It’s difficult to sit there after the game with how we played second half and not win the game, but also understand it was the first half that cost us.”

Boss Shaun Maloney admitted Jason Kerr’s late header against 10-man Leyton Orient secured a ‘really important win’ for Wigan.

The Scottish centre-back had only been on the pitch for a matter of seconds when he headed home a cross from Jonny Smith – who had also come on in the same substitution – to break the deadlock at the DW Stadium.

The O’s had played the majority of the game with 10 men after Ethan Galbraith was shown a second yellow card on 42 minutes after two fouls in the space of 13 minutes on his Northern Ireland international colleague Jordan Jones.

After that it was pretty much attack against defence, with Kerr giving Wigan a victory they undoubtedly deserved.

“It was a really important win,” acknowledged Maloney. “The game obviously completely changed on the red card.

“Leyton Orient were good at times in the first half, we were okay. At times we were really creative, at other times we weren’t at our fluent best.

“The only positive from that was when Leyton Orient had possession I never felt like they were creating big opportunities to score.

“The second half was all about trying to stay patient, understand how we were going to break them down.

“They went straight to a five and a four and it isn’t easy trying to break down 10 men.

“It was hard for the players and every substitution we made was to become even more attacking.

“But I thought the players were really good because it certainly wasn’t easy for them.

“As you can see the winner came from a short corner and sometimes you need set-plays like that to get over the line.”

Orient manager Richie Wellens was pleased with what he saw, having had ‘no complaints’ about the match-changing decision.

“I can’t really remember the first (yellow) but I’ve got no complaints about the second one, his foot was high and it was a fair booking,” he said.

“Until the sending off we dominated the game.

“It was too easy for us, the only threat they had was when we lost the ball in the middle of the pitch and they countered on us.

“I’m very proud of the team – to come to this stadium against a club that win the league whenever they are in League One.

“Wigan should be right at the top end of this division so to come here with really young players and play the way we did was excellent.

“It was comfortable for us at the back, I didn’t think they caused us any problems until they made a good substitution, taking (Charlie) Goode off and bringing on someone who was better on the ball at the back, which caused us problems.

“But we’ve been done by a set-play and we’ve got to be better with that.

“After that, they managed the game well, the referee allowed them to slow the game down, waste time, which you expect the opposition to do in that position.”

Wigan boss Shaun Maloney praised his side’s mentality after securing a 1-0 win at Shrewsbury to pull eight points clear of the relegation zone.

After a dull first half with limited opportunities for both sides, the Latics found the decisive goal just minutes before the hour mark from a corner.

Matt Smith, with his first goal for Wigan, swept home from inside the box and sent the travelling fans home happy.

Shrewsbury went close to a late equaliser when defender Chey Dunkley rose highest from a corner but his headed effort clipped a defender and went out for another set piece.

Maloney said: “First half, we did a lot of things right with the ball without being as intense with it as I would have liked.

“It flipped second half, you also saw we scored a goal and had to hang in and show a different mentality – not one we have shown recently.

“I thought the players were brilliant, the players who started and the ones who came on made some amazing blocks to stop shots on our goal.

“I probably get more pleasure watching the team putting their body on the line for their club and team-mates and they did that today, so I loved every bit of that.

“When we play like we did in the first 20 minutes, we have to be in front, maybe not the chances, but we should have created more chances with the amount of possession we had.

“We have to be more ruthless when we break through teams in the middle of the pitch and we have to hurt them.”

Shrews boss Paul Hurst felt his side were worthy of a point.

He said: “I don’t think the performance overall deserved to lose the game but ultimately we have and we have to try and change that.

“The general consensus from what I have been told is that the performances have been better.

“I do believe you have to put in decent performances to give yourself a chance of winning the game, so we will obviously want to stick with that and hope something can drop.

“I can’t knock the players in terms of effort but what I will say is I was disappointed with the start we made and I think we took 20 minutes to get started.

“For the majority of the game we were the team pushing on top; once they get in front, they will probably be happy defending a bit deeper and not committing men forward but I also felt we pushed them back.

“Although they ended up keeping a clean sheet, their bench would be not happy with the number of crosses and set plays they had to defend.”

Gary Caldwell could not hide his delight at marking his first return to Wigan as an opposition manager with all three points after Exeter ran out 2-1 winners in Sky Bet League One.

Latics had recorded two victories at Exeter in the first half of the campaign – following up a 2-0 win in the league with an FA Cup first-round victory by the same score.

As a result, restoring the balance at the DW Stadium was just what the doctor ordered for Caldwell, who was also locking horns against his old Wigan, Celtic and Scotland colleague Shaun Maloney.

Deflected goals from Mo Eisa and Jack Aitchison had Exeter two goals up heading into the final quarter, with Charlie Kelman’s first Wigan goal 19 minutes from time proving to be only a consolation.

“I actually thought that was the best that Wigan played in all three matches,” said Caldwell.

“They gave us so many problems in possession, I thought they were excellent, the way they kept rotating their shape and asking questions.

“First half out of possession we were outstanding, the way we set-up, the understanding of how we could restrict them trying to play through us.

“Second half they put even more men forward and asked even more questions, and put us under a lot of pressure.

“We had to really defend our box to see it through, but football is a really funny game.

“I thought we played much better in the first two games and came away with nothing.

“Although we were excellent out of possession today, in possession I know we can play a lot better, but it was a good one to win.”

When asked whether the result meant slightly more given the circumstances, Caldwell replied: “I don’t think so, other than obviously where both sides are in the league.

“I do feel for Wigan because of the points deduction, they shouldn’t be where they are in the table.

“That’s unfortunate and I think they have dealt with that extremely well this season.

“But in terms of our league position, and the run we’ve been on, I think it was important we didn’t lose today.

“You could see with the attitude of the players and the way they worked out of possession, there was a real spirit and a determination not to get beat – and fortunately we got the win.”

For opposite number Maloney, it was a tough result to take on the back of last weekend’s victory at high-flying Peterborough.

“I imagine I’m feeling very similar to how Exeter would have been feeling on definitely one of the occasions we won down there,” he said.

“It was a really tough result to take because the second half in particular was everything I want to see from my team moving forward.

“We needed more intensity in that second half, I thought we lacked intensity without the ball in that first half.

“We started the game well, Thelo (Aasgaard) had a couple of good chances and Martial (Godo) another with his header.

“But 1-0 down, I didn’t like the feeling in the group and I needed to see more intensity.

“I was really happy with the players who came on, although I must say the players they replaced have all been really good for me as well.

“It just felt like I needed to make a momentum change, which happened in the second half, but unfortunately we lost a second goal on the break.

“In the end, it was just too big a challenge for us to pull it back at the end.”

Shaun Maloney admitted Wigan’s 109th-minute winner against Wycombe came from a moment of magic from Charlie Hughes that ‘can’t be coached’.

It looked like a thoroughly dour encounter at the DW would end with the score it deserved before Hughes’ late heroics.

And just as Steven Rushton – who had stepped up from fourth official to replace the injured Adam Herczeg, causing a near-20 minute delay – was reaching for his whistle, centre-back Hughes’ volley flew past Max Stryjek to give Wigan a second 1-0 home win in three days.

“It was a strange one, a prolonged one because of the delay,” said Maloney. “It was probably tough to watch, because it was tough to play in conditions that weren’t easy.

“It was a really difficult game but to finally break them down and get that winner, the players are delighted.

“It felt like another big moment for us and it’s one of those moments where you just have to enjoy it – and we did.

“Normally I don’t show too much emotion after goals, and I don’t even think I did after this one, but I loved two aspects of the goal.

“The first was Callum McManaman’s one-v-one. In the final third, I thought we were good tonight until we got into that part of the pitch, and we were a bit off it – but then you get a moment from Callum, who has that one-v-one talent that you just can’t coach.

“I loved what he did, and then obviously Charlie’s finish… again, you just can’t coach that kind of ability.

“I’m well chuffed for him, and I actually thought in the whole second half he was brilliant.”

For Wycombe boss Matt Bloomfield, it was a case of what might have been.

“I’m obviously disappointed and frustrated about another point that’s got away from us,” he said.

“It actually felt like we were in the ascendency in the latter stages of the game, we brought on fresh legs and I felt like it had the desired effect.

“In life you have to make your own luck, and we will continue to work hard to make things happen.

“We played the majority of the last part of the game in the opposition half and obviously the boys are distraught at giving away a point in the manner we did.

“The goal at the end, there’s a multitude of little things that should have been done better. But all those little things add up – especially at the end of the game – and we end up with the ball in the back of our net.

“The amount of games we’ve had this year that have gone so far beyond ‘normal’ time, I’ve never known a season like it.

“But after the restart, I felt it was us in the ascendency, and I’m just so disappointed and frustrated for the supporters who have travelled so far and the boys who have put in so much effort and executed the game-plan exactly the way we wanted them to.”

Managers Shaun Maloney and Jon Brady both declared themselves satisfied after Northampton and Wigan shared the points in a hard-fought 1-1 draw at Sixfields.

The Cobblers led through Sam Hoskins’ 16th-minute penalty, awarded for a foul by Latics goalkeeper Sam Tickle on Kieron Bowie, but the visitors struck back and netted a deserved equaliser through Josh Magennis after 64 minutes.

It was a match of few clear-cut chances, with Wigan dominating possession for the most part, and both bosses were pleased to come away with a point for their efforts.

“Wigan are a good side, they move the ball well and cause you all sorts of problems with their shape,” said Brady.

“They pull you apart constantly, and we knew that would happen.

“It was the hardest I have had to work all week to try and nullify all of that, and the boys worked extremely hard.

“Then you look at their resources and what they bring on, Charlie Wyke, Callum McManaman, the Smiths, and jeez.

“But what we have got is heart and huge desire, and we dig in.

“I think their position in the table is pretty false, and without the points deduction they’d be in and around us, so I feel overall, although it can be better, I am quite pleased with that today.”

Maloney felt the point was the least his team deserved.

The Latics enjoyed a 67 per cent share of possession as the away team, and Maloney said: “The performance was right up there with the levels we showed in the 1-1 draw at Barnsley on New Year’s Day, but in a different way.

“At Barnsley we played on the counter-attack, today I thought we were very good with the ball on a really difficult pitch, and it is even harder when you go 1-0 down.

“Mistakes like the one for their goal happen, you are going to get that with some of the younger boys, but I thought we played very, very well. I was really happy with everybody.

“We went in 1-0 down, but the performance in the first half was very, very good.

“We didn’t need to change anything, we just needed to be a bit more aggressive and the response in the second half was good.

“It is difficult sometimes when you stand here if you draw or you get beaten and the performance has been good, but today I have nothing but good things to say about my players.”

Erik ten Hag has not ruled out using the transfer market to strengthen his squad as injuries and illness continue to hit Manchester United hard.

The number of absentees reached double figures for Monday’s 2-0 FA Cup win away to League Two Wigan, with Christian Eriksen out due to illness and Antony injured.

Although Ten Hag is optimistic a number of players could return in time for Sunday’s Premier League match at home to Tottenham, a United bench made up almost entirely of youngsters at the DW Stadium pointed to the stretched resources.

“We consider everything,” Ten Hag said when asked about the January window. “So what is in the best interests of the players and also the best interests for us, the team, for Manchester United. So we’ll see how we progress during the window.”

Ten Hag admitted it has been frustrating to lose so many players in recent weeks, but the Dutchman did not want that to be an excuse for some poor results last month, when United lost six of their nine games.

“I don’t want to be frustrated because I can do nothing for it, it will not help to support the team,” he said. “So we have to get the best performance and best results with the players available and that’s what we’re trying to do…

“I think there will be some players that are hopeful they can be back for the weekend.”

Ten Hag said he expected Eriksen to return in time for the Spurs match, while Luke Shaw and Harry Maguire could also be available.

The victory at Wigan sets up a fourth round tie away to either League Two Newport or non-league Eastleigh, and a clear opportunity to progress further.

With United out of Europe and eighth in the Premier League, a competition in which United reached the final last season remains their only opportunity of silverware this term.

“I don’t think (the focus on the FA Cup) would change if you are still in Europe,” Ten Hag said. “It is a massive competition. Everyone wants to win this competition. So every game we take seriously.”

United beat Wigan with goals in either half from Diogo Dalot and Bruno Fernandes, the second a penalty, but should have won more convincingly given they had 33 attempts on goal.

Fourteen of those were on target, but United were the latest side to find out why Wigan’s 21-year-old goalkeeper Sam Tickle is a man in-demand given his recent form.

Tickle has taken the starting role at Wigan ahead of former United stopper Ben Amos, and the England under-21 goalkeeper has recently been linked with Premier League clubs including Everton.

“He is a brilliant shot-stopper,” Wigan boss Shaun Maloney said of Tickle. “When I first came in, I realised we had something special…

“He was brilliant (against United) and it’s been like that all season. I understand the attention now. It is amazing for our club to have a goalkeeper in the England Under 21 team. Long may it continue. I think it will.”

Both Shaun Maloney and Michael Skubala agreed the goalless Sky Bet League One draw between Wigan and Lincoln was a fair result.

It was the visitors who registered the only shot on target, through Ethan Hamilton in the first half, as defences reigned in miserable conditions at the DW Stadium.

“It was a pretty even game really,” said Wigan boss Maloney.

“I thought they were very good defensively, Lincoln, as they have been in the last few games under the new manager.

“We found it very hard to break them down and probably didn’t do quite enough to win the game.

“We were just slightly off it and, against a team that is very well organised, we didn’t create enough with the amount of possession we had.”

Lincoln chief Skubala added: “We knew we were coming to play against a side that are very good at home and, to a man, we were really on it.

“They were trying to drag us all over the place but we’d worked on that in training and what I’d call ‘shifting’ as a back five, while also being as aggressive as we could.

“We pressed them from minute one, and for a good 70 minutes we stopped them from playing.

“If you look at the conditions, it’s always difficult to play in the wind and the rain.

“They had a couple of moments, we had a couple of half-chances, we probably edged the first half and they probably edged the second half.

“They have good players, you have to respect that, and they have good players on the bench to bring on.

“But so do we, and I was really pleased with the boys we brought on and the impact we had on the game.

“We see it as a big point and that’s what I’ve told the lads, don’t be disappointed with that.”

Wigan came desperately close to a winning goal with five minutes to go when Jordan Jones’ cross was fumbled by Lukas Jensen, with substitute Chris Sze firing home the rebound.

However, the official ruled Jensen had been fouled by fellow home substitute Charlie Wyke as he attempted to regather the ball, and Wigan’s celebrations were short-lived.

“I’ve watched it a couple of times back and, from the angle I had, I think it was probably the wrong decision,” said Maloney. “Just in terms of the goalkeeper dropping the ball before the contact with Charlie.

“But I won’t complain too much because, as I said, I don’t think we did quite enough to win the game.

“I try not to complain too much about decisions that don’t go our way, it is what it is. Sometimes they go for you, and sometimes they go the other way.

“But I can’t really say anything negative about the players, because what I really liked about the second half was the way they stayed patient.”

Skubala said: “I’ve not had time to watch it back, but it looked a bit of a scrappy one. It is what it is.”

Wigan manager Shaun Maloney admitted he was determined to reach the third round of the FA Cup for chairman Mike Danson following a 1-0 win at York.

Maloney, who was a member of the Latics’ 2013 FA Cup final-winning team, is desperate to repay Danson with a money-spinning run in this season’s competition after he saved the club from financial ruin when he took over in the summer.

The Latics had to start their League One campaign with an eight-point deduction due to the off-pitch issues Danson inherited, meaning a good cup run would prove a perfect fillip given the handicap they were given in the league.

After Stephen Humphrys’ goal sealed victory at the National League outfit, Maloney said: “I am very happy to be in the third-round draw.

“The chairman literally saved the club so I want to repay him for that and I know, with what happened in the summer, how important the finance you can get from this competition can be.

“We wanted to be at our best in this tie which I showed with my team selection,” added the former Scotland forward, who picked an unchanged starting XI following Tuesday’s 3-0 home win against Fleetwood, “and I was reasonably happy with the performance, although the last three or four minutes were a bit nervy.

“It was a brilliant finish by Stephen, though, to win the game and he’s got so much talent in one-on-one situations with his speed.

“I’m always confident that our attacking players will take a chance at some point in a game. The only criticism I would have in this game is that we could have been more clinical but, to be fair to York, they had a couple of good chances as well.”

York boss Neal Ardley was left to reflect on what might have been after a mistake by defender Tyler Cordner led to Humphrys’ goal and captain Lenell John-Lewis missed two great chances to force a replay late on.

“I thought our game-plan went really well,” Ardley said. “We wanted to still be in the tie after 70 minutes and then look to bring the two wingers off the bench.

“But the outcome has been settled by one mistimed header. It just came down to that one moment and, then, Lenny (John-Lewis) had two great chances that haven’t gone in and, if we were going to get through tonight, we had to be mistake free and take our chances when they came.

“But the effort of the players and their execution of the game-plan was really good because a team who are causing problems for a lot of teams in League One struggled to break us down.

“We nearly nicked an equaliser after throwing caution to the wind and people will say why didn’t you start like that? But it doesn’t work like that.”

Shaun Maloney says it is time that Wigan enjoyed another good FA Cup run following their 2-0 first-round win at Exeter.

In a match almost identical to the 2-0 win for Latics in League One just two weeks ago, Wigan won it with second-half goals from Thelo Aasgaard and Steven Sessegnon, despite Exeter dominating for long spells.

“It was a very good team performance,” Maloney said. “We changed it tactically in the second half. I didn’t think there were massive issues in the game, I just wanted to get our attacking players in the game more and in the end, it was an excellent performance.

“First half was very even, there wasn’t too much in it but at the same time, I didn’t feel we were really cutting through them when we had the ball.

“I felt we were a danger on the counter attack but I wanted more of the ball in the second half and once it got to 2-0, I was really happy with the way we saw out the game.

“This game meant a lot to us and it was a big win for us. We have a history in the cup. Everyone talks about 2013 but the following season, we made it to the semi-finals, lost on penalties, 2018 as a League One club, we beat a Pep (Guardiola) Man City team. Hopefully it’s our turn to make some memories but it is just one round.”

It was frustration for Exeter manager Gary Caldwell, though. His side have now lost eight of their last nine games and scored in only three of those matches.

“It’s really frustrating,” Caldwell said. “I thought we were better today than we were two weeks ago in terms of how we wanted to play and the chances we created.

“We created great opportunities to score, a brilliant opportunity second half for James (Scott) but didn’t score and the longer the game went on, they were always going to be a threat on the counter and we gifted them a goal. Then the game became really difficult.

“It is clear what is happening, it is clear what we need to improve on and it is hard work on the training ground and support for the players that will do that.

“It’s frustrating because when you lose games, confidence does get affected – that is only natural in football and in life, but the players have to stand up in those moments and keep believing in what we are doing, what was working before and keep doing that to get back into the game.

“I do agree that confidence is low at the minute, but we have to work hard on the training pitch to build that back up.”

Shaun Maloney hailed a “very professional performance” after Wigan secured a third 2-0 victory on the spin in Sky Bet League One against a Shrewsbury side who played for all but four minutes with 10 men.

Former Wigan defender Chey Dunkley was shown a straight red card for hauling down Thelo Aasgaard on the edge of the box.

And goals in either half from Stephen Humphrys and substitute Callum Lang secured a comfortable win for Latics, who also hit the woodwork twice.

“I thought it was a very professional performance,” said Maloney.

“Obviously it was very hard for Shrewsbury when you go down to 10 men that early.

“I thought we started the game very well, and then the game completely changes.

“I was just really happy with how professional we were, because the sending-off changed our outlook dramatically.

“Give Shrewsbury credit, actually, even with 10 men.

“It changes how we play, the spaces become bigger and we have to make them even bigger for them, which is probably the reason why we created so many chances.

“We had to change how we played in the second half, we had to become more aggressive.

“I was really pleased with the guys who came on in the second half, especially Callum McManaman who brought that mentality back just at a time when I thought the game was starting to drift.

“This kind of game can drift and become a lot harder, even when you have the man advantage.”

Shrewsbury boss Matt Taylor had no complaints over either the red card or the result.

“It was a very difficult afternoon for us,” he said. “But you’ve got to put it into context, when you have your captain sent off inside five minutes away from home – and quite rightly sent off.

“It’s a bad decision from Chey, he gets himself into a position where he can’t affect the run of the player going through.

“Going down to 10 men inside five minutes, you know there’s going to be some suffering, and there was.

“Having said that, for large parts of the game I thought we were excellent, considering we had 10 men.

“The players trusted each other, they moved the ball very well and we got into some excellent positions.

“You have to understand that when you play with 10 men, you will have to give space away because you can’t cover the whole pitch.

“Therefore they had plenty of opportunities from crosses and we haven’t stopped crosses well enough today in one-v-one situations.

“With the ball I was pleased, we varied the ball well and overall I’m disappointed because I felt this was a good opportunity to pick up some points.

“But we weren’t able to do that because we went down to 10 men so early.”

Wigan boss Shaun Maloney was reluctant to criticise his team or the match officials after a 2-0 defeat to Barnsley with 10 men.

The visitors started brightly and took advantage of Charlie Hughes’ 21st-minute red card, with Devante Cole firing his side in front five minutes later.

Wigan showed plenty of heart in the second half but Barnsley substitute John McAtee made the game safe in added time.

Maloney said of the red card: “It’s a difficult decision. I’ve seen one angle of it and I can’t decide whether he’s got the ball or the player, so it looked a little bit 50-50.

“I don’t want to complain too much about decisions, sometimes they go for you and this instance it’s gone against us. It had a big impact in terms of how the game went, but that’s football and sometimes these things go against you.

“The flow of the game changed immediately after the red card. I’m not overly positive generally after defeats, but for half an hour or so in the second half we had to play under big pressure.

“I let them know that I didn’t care if there was a mistake, we had to play under pressure to get back into it and for 30 minutes I think we did that.

“I can’t be critical of the second goal, we went all out to try and get a goal and physically the team was spent. The last five or six minutes were open and I can’t be critical.

“It’s a sore one and you don’t like to lose, but we’ll get back to work on Monday.”

Barnsley manager Neill Collins admitted his “relief” as his side got back to winning ways.

The Tykes had not tasted victory since dismantling Port Vale 7-0 on the opening day of the season and they faced a tough task at the DW Stadium – against a side who would have started the day top were it not for an eight-point deduction for financial reasons.

Collins said: “It’s always a relief to win when you’re coming on the back of a couple of defeats.

“The first day was just an excellent day all round, to get the three points was important but to win the way we did meant it was made a bit more of a deal than it was.

“I thought the cup game afterwards (against Tranmere) was positive from the perspective that we had a really young team and they played really well.

“Then at Bristol (Rovers) we got a point without playing great, before two home games against two really tough teams (Peterborough and Oxford).

“People ask questions after defeats but we knew the reasons why they happened and how we needed to improve.

“To come here and get a result considering where we’re at is really pleasing.”

Shaun Maloney saluted two-goal marksman Charlie Wyke as Wigan wiped out their eight-point deduction inside four League One games after thrashing Bolton 4-0.

Wyke started and finished the scoring at Toughsheet Community Stadium with a Stephen Humphreys’ double sandwiched in between as Latics ended Wanderers’ 100 per cent start to the campaign in emphatic fashion.

The visitors’ third win of the season lifted them on to two points while Ian Evatt’s Trotters suffered a harsh reality check after four wins in all competitions.

“Every bit of credit goes to Charlie,” said Wigan manager Maloney of his frontman who had a defibrillator fitted after suffering a cardiac arrest in 2021.

“He came back on day one of pre-season in incredible condition. It was like signing a new player.

“What he has been through is well documented but he has put a lot of hard work in and continues to put hard work in.

“So, every bit of praise he gets is well deserved.”

Wigan’s eight-point deficit over wages payments had some fans fearing a second successive relegation, but the club’s flying start to the season has indicated a much brighter future.

“We came to terms with it (the deficit) in the summer,” added Maloney. “I understand why we got it, the situation the club was in.

“What was hard was how to broach it over the summer. We gave ourselves six games and we are obviously ahead of schedule.

“We could not have thought we would have this good a start. But I knew with the players we brought in and during pre-season, something was happening.”

Wanderers bossed possession and created 20 shots but rarely looked capable of getting back into the contest after Wigan’s Wyke-inspired start.

Wyke opened the scoring in the 12th minute before Humphrys’ brace in the 24th and 45th minutes made it 3-0 at the break.

Bolton boss Ian Evatt said: “There is an awful lot to take in. We can all be honest and say we didn’t see it coming.

“We have got to make sure this result doesn’t define our season which is crazy to say after just four games.

“For the first time though someone has punched us on the jaw and we didn’t recover. The game was gone before we knew it.

“It was one of those games where we lost every moment, lost every duel and just lost the basics of football.

“The ball seemed to fall to them every time but I am a firm believer you make your own luck

“On the day though Wigan played it was like a derby. We played like we were going to come and have everything our own way as we have done so far this season.

“The general performance wasn’t a 4-0 game. But they punished us on every moment and the first 10 minutes rocked us and we didn’t recover.

“Every time we looked like we were going to gain momentum we got punched on the jaw again.”

Shaun Maloney admits his Wigan Athletic side are “ahead of schedule” after starting their Sky Bet League One campaign with two successive wins following a 2-1 victory over Northampton at the DW Stadium.

Having started the campaign with an eight-point deduction for financial issues last season, Wigan are now only two points from wiping out that deficit after a flying start.

Two goals in the last 20 minutes from Charlie Hughes and Callum McManaman gave them victory over Northampton, who had led through a Sam Hoskins free-kick after 24 minutes.

Maloney’s men would move into positive points with another win at Carlisle on Tuesday.

“It’s been a really positive start in the league,” he said.

“We set ourselves a target of six games to get into positive points, so we’re maybe a little ahead of schedule.

“But we know what football can do.

“In terms of today’s game, I thought it opened up in the last 20 minutes, but we had a brilliant feeling at the end.

“And all the credit has to go to the players.

“It was the players that had to see out the last half an hour at Derby, where we had to defend for our lives.

“We had to do the same here for the last 10 minutes plus seven minutes of injury time.

“But the mentality of the young group, I think it’s always a bit of an unknown.

“And we had some big, big performances today to get us over the line.”

Wigan’s matchwinner was McManaman, who is in his third spell at the club, having won a 12-month deal in the summer after training with the side since Maloney’s arrival in January.

“I thought he was brilliant in the first half against Derby, but he’s had a knock on his hip,” added the Wigan boss.

“I would have liked to have started him today, and I ended up needing him longer than I wanted.

“But it was a brilliant day for Callum.

“I’ve seen the progression he’s made while he’s been back here, all the work he’s put in, and I’m so, so happy for him.”

For Northampton boss Jon Brady, it was a case of what might have been.

“It’s a step up in standard and, if you don’t defend right, you get punished, and we were today,” he said.

“We’re still getting there, but today’s performance gave me a lot of confidence in the group.

“On a big pitch like this, it’s very difficult to step on and press like we did in the first half.

“And that’s a big reason why we couldn’t step on as much in the second half.

“We scored a very good goal, that’s the quality Sam possesses.

“We also hit the post, but I’ll compliment Wigan here.

“The blocks in the box won them the game today.

“A lot of our opportunities were what I’d want from my team.

“But their attitude, their never-say-die, their never-give-up, was really commendable.”

Both Brady and his assistant Colin Caldwerwood were yellow carded in the final half an hour by referee Ross Joyce.

“McManaman has poleaxed one of my players, and the referee has done nothing about that,” he added.

“And the fourth official pretends he hasn’t seen it, which is disappointing.

“It’s just the consistency and the dark arts they were using.

“But I’ll leave it there before I say too much.”

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