Latics crumbled to an embarrassing 4-1 defeat at the hands of struggling Middlesbrough after taking the lead and throwing it away yet again. Here’s 5 things we learnt from the game…
1) This can’t keep happening…
Latics can’t make taking the lead and losing a habit. That’s 3 of our last 5 games that we’ve scored first in before throwing the 3 points away in spectacular fashion, a total of 9 points lost that had we held on for would put us top of the league! Something needs to be done to change this, I’m not quite sure what but something does. Its scarily like the infamous Paul Cook Championship era at times and we can’t afford that to be the case.
An Unforgiving League
It was only a matter of time before we heard this wasn’t it? The classic line from Paul Cook’s old press conferences was used for the first time by Leam yesterday and its fair to say it didn’t go down particularly well with Latics fans on twitter as you can imagine. Yesterday did show that if you make errors against sides at this level you’ll be punished but our opponents really weren’t anything special either. It showed the brutal reality that this season will be a slog from here on in.
3) Out of our depth?
I think some of the recent performances have shown us that there are too many players in our squad that simply aren’t Championship quality players, especially not over a 46 game period. Too many times yesterday we saw errors and decisions that you can get away with in League 1 but not at this level and for some it looked as though they themselves didn’t think they were good enough. Players seemed to be having very stern words on the pitch and you could argue, and some have, that certain players even downed tools mid game. With January not too far away its time to start planning on replacing a few regular culprits.
4) A good old fashioned bollocking…
Post game Leam Richardson sounded like he’d spent the day smoking. His voice was raspy, his eyes had bags under them and he seemed visibly angry, probably for the first time in over a year. Whilst I can’t say for sure I think its probably a fair bet that he delivered some home truths in the dressing room, but for me that’s not going to be enough. If the team on Saturday still features players that were woeful yesterday I’m convinced the same will happen again. In fact I don’t because I doubt we’ll score against top of the league QPR. Time will tell.
5) Jordan Cousins. The rose between a lot of thorns.
Lets end on a positive note shall we. It was brilliant to have Jordan Cousins back and he showed what a wonderful player he is, definitely a performance that wasn’t deserving of being part of a 4-1 defeat. He was useful in possession, excellent off the ball and put out a lot of fires that were started by his teammates. The difference in quality between him and Power yesterday was clear to see and I’m praying that we can keep him fit, he’s a wonderful player. Lets see him paired with Shinnie at the weekend please!