Don’t say sorry, get it right: Owen Coyle says refereeing cost Wigan Athletic ‘dearly’ against Watford

By Colin Rhodes

Wigan manager Owen Coyle blamed poor refereeing for his side’s 1-0 defeat at the hands of Watford on Saturday.

The Latics had a goal disallowed for offside and a penalty claim turned down by the officials when Watford’s Lloyd Doyley tangled with Nick Powell in the box.

Replays suggested that both decisions mistakenly went Watford’s way, and Cristian Battocchio then struck for the hosts against the run of play to steal all three points late in the game.

Coyle however was quick to praise his players’ efforts as much as give his views on the decisions given by the referee.

He said: “It’s not very often after defeat that you go into a dressing room and congratulate your players on their performance, but that was the first thing I did after the game.

“We played terrifically well and had superb support from the travelling fans, but the decisions from the referee have left us frustrated.

“Nick Powell had a perfectly good goal in the first half disallowed for an offside flag on James McClean, but at the time it was clear he was on and the replays support that claim.

“A goal at that stage of the game, whilst we were in the ascendency would have paved the way for us to go on and win; I’ve no doubt about it.

“But that went against us, and then we have a stonewall penalty claim in the second half turned away when Nick is clearly fouled inside the area. You can know from Nick’s reaction that he’s been fouled and for the life of me I can’t see why it’s not been given.

“We had two or three apologies from the officials during the game; I don’t want apologies, I just want them to get the decisions right because it’s cost us dearly this afternoon.”

There was further injury frustration for the Scotsman after Marc-Antoine Fortune suffered a recurrence of the injury that has kept him out over the past week, and Thomas Rogne was forced off towards the end of the game.

“Marc-Antoine felt his hamstring tighten during the first half so we had to take him off before it became any worse so we’ll see how far back that will set him. His replacement, Callum McManaman was someone we were hoping to build back into the team and bring up to full speed, but he did extremely well when he came on,” said Coyle.

“Thomas Rogne has been on the treatment table with a gash on his leg after a challenge, if you can call it that somehow went unpunished.

“We’ll assess that injury over the next few days, it doesn’t look particularly pleasing on the eye it has to be said, but I’m hoping it’s superficial rather than anything long term.”

Wigan now face Slovekian side NV Maribor at the DW Stadium on Thursday night.

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