‘The Warriors inspired us’: Wigan boss Owen Coyle claims Blackburn victory came through ‘heart and guts’

By Colin Rhodes

Wigan boss Owen Coyle revealed that the Warrior’s Super League winning exploits inspired his side to launch their own comeback and beat Blackburn 2-1 at the DW Stadium.

Wigan Warriors came back for 16-2 down to beat the Warrington Wolves 30-16 at Old Trafford on Saturday.

The Latics suffered their own early setback when Tommy Spurr gave the visitors the lead in the eighth minute but a straight red card for Grant Hanley for an elbow on loanee Nick Powell, swung the game Wigan’s way after half an hour.

That decision allowed Wigan to take control of the game and second half goals from Grant Holt and Emmerson Boyce sealed the win.

Coyle said: “You saw it last night in the rugby league, that comeback was amazing, and again today the lads showed a lot of good attributes there that really pleased me.

“We’ve shown that on the football side this year, the amount of points we’ve retrieved from losing positions…it tells you everything about the character and the spirit you’ve got at your club.

“People will always talk when they’re winning games about how good the spirit is, that comes hand in hand, but the testimony to any team spirit and camaraderie is when your team is up against it.”

The victory comes at the end of a tough week for the Latics which has seen them play three games in seven days including clinching their first ever European win with victory over Maribor on Thursday.

The Scotsman was delighted with his team’s performance: “We’ve got to understand the demands that have been put on this group since the last international break in a short space of time.

“We’ve got to show we’ve got more than one way to win a game; Thursday night against Maribor was silky and incisive, and today was much more about heart and guts if truth be told.

“The players carried the fight for Wigan Athletic and were determined to show they won’t be defeated in their own back yard against a team on the back of a terrific run in the league.

“Having said that, I thought Scott Carson was fouled in the build-up to the Blackburn goal, but that wasn’t seen and it gave Blackburn something extra to hold onto.

“The red card was obvious, and a turning point in the game as it allowed us to produce wave after wave of attack. We had to be patient in waiting to break them down, and the two goals we scored could have been five or six, without getting to the heights we know we’re capable of.”

Grant Holt made his return to the side after over a month out with a knee injury and came off the bench to score a crucial equaliser for the Latics.

Wigan then piled on the pressure with James McClean and Powell going close before Boyce headed home off the post in the 90th minute to secure the 600th win in Wigan’s history.

The Latics now have a well-earned break until their next match away at Blackpool.

Image courtesy of Wigan Athletic via YouTube , with thanks

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