Tics Takeaways – 5 things we learnt from Swansea (A)

Wigan Athletic brought an end to their losing streak with a 2-2 draw away at Swansea City, but will look back in disappointment after throwing away a two goal lead. Here’s 5 things we learnt from the game…

1) A point in the right direction…

I don’t like this phrase very much but I think it’s fair to say if you asked every Latics fan if they’d have taken a point pre-game I’m pretty certain 99% would’ve said absolutely yes. So in that sense yesterday’s result was a step in the right direction, it ended the losing streak and proved that we can get results without having to play 8 defenders at a time! Swansea are no mugs and whilst they deserved to win we did a pretty decent job of limiting them to very few clear cut chances. However…

2) It’s still two points dropped!

It absolutely is two points dropped and nobody can convince me otherwise! Regardless of how badly we’ve played recently, how many losses we’ve had or how few points we’ve accrued this still has to go down as a disappointing result given the context. We were 2-0 up, looked completely comfortable with our set up and were pressing and counter attacking as well as I’ve seen us do all season. So to let all of that slip, particularly in the second half when we dropped 10 yards further back than we had done in the first, is hugely disappointing. That’s the 6th game we’ve scored first in and not won this season…

3) 3 up top the way to go!

I’ve been calling for it for weeks and I’m so glad it worked when it happened! Leam made the correct decision and dropped a CM (whether he dropped the right one is another question entirely!) in place of Charlie Wyke who led the line well and was pivotal in our counter attacking play. It’s so important to play a genuine target man given how we want to play and neither Nathan Broadhead or Will Keane are capable of fulfilling that role. The 3 of them combined really well together as they did against Blackburn earlier on in the season and it’s a trio I’d like to see start more games together as the season progresses.

4) Set Pieces are our only hope…

It might sound extreme but that’s genuinely what it feels like at the moment for Latics. Yes, the first corner came from a chance in open play but that Nathan Broadhead effort was about as good as it got for us yesterday outside of our set piece efforts. It’s a real problem and whilst I understand that Swansea had a lot of the ball there were still moments where we simply lacked quality in the final third. For example, late on Josh Magennis had a great opportunity to play a pretty simple through ball into Callum Lang who would’ve been in on goal but for whatever reason, be that a lack of confidence or simply not spotting it, he didn’t make it. These are the differences between a Championship side and a League One side playing in the Championship, and unfortunately from open play we look very much like the latter.

5) Paying the penalty…

There’s been a lot of debate about whether or not Swansea’s spot kick should’ve been given. For me it’s a daft challenge from Jason Kerr and when your team are under heaps of pressure away from home you’re playing a very dangerous game by giving the referee a decision to make. Perhaps there’s an element of bad luck about it too but for me you’ve got to look at the bigger picture and understand why that was even allowed to happen in the first place. A series of very basic 1-2s cut us open at the back and with how deep we were sitting it meant a lot of our engagement happened inside our own penalty area. That makes the margin for error infinitely smaller and we paid the price in the end by giving away a penalty rather than a free kick had we been pushed slightly higher up. It’s all ifs, buts and maybes and had we held on I wouldn’t be complaining about us being so deep, but by doing it and it not working it just doesn’t sit right with me or many other supporters. I’m fickle, I know!

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