Owen Coyle believes his side deserved to come away from the Goldsands Stadium with a result on Saturday afternoon, after a resilient performance ended in defeat to Bournemouth.
Lewis Grabban capitalised on a first half defensive error to score the decisive goal, before an incident packed second period in which Scott Carson saved a Brett Pitman penalty, Callum McManaman received a straight red card and Leon Barnett saw a late header cleared off the line as Latics pushed for an equaliser.
In the end it wasn’t to be, and Coyle gave his verdict to Latics Player after the final whistle, saying:
“I thought there were a number of factors that contrived against us on the day, but I also feel that we’re capable of playing much better.
“Having said that we controlled the game for long periods, had a few fleeting breakaways to deal with from Bournemouth, but ultimately did enough to deserve some reward from the afternoon.
“Obviously the goal we conceded was very disappointing, having not had too much to worry about in front of our own goal. But I was very happy with the reaction in the second half, coming out and looking like the team who were going to win the match.”
Coyle also pointed to a number of refereeing decisions that both confused and frustrated the visitors throughout the afternoon, but was pleased with how his players reacted to the set-backs, explaining:
“Some of the refereeing decisions were beyond belief and didn’t help our cause but somedays they go for you and other days they don’t.
“I thought Callum McManaman was unfortunate to be sent off. The incident happened in close proximity to the linesman and he didn’t indicate a foul at the time. Callum has won the ball, but his momentum has taken him into the opposition player, but it certainly isn’t a red card in my opinion.
“Before that, Bournemouth were awarded a penalty kick when Jean Beausejour collided with one of their players with the ball nowhere near the pair of them, which was hard to understand.
“But again we showed great resilience and pushed forward to try and score an equaliser, and seeing a Leon Barnett header cleared off the line, so I take much confidence from that.
“Days like this happen and I’ve been in football long enough to know when you’re beaten fair and square you hold your hands up and take it, but we weren’t the second best team today.”
Finally, looking forward to the team’s first home game of the season on Tuesday night against Doncaster Rovers, Coyle thanked the travelling Latics fans for their unwavering support once more and hopes to repay them with three points next week:
“We’ve had the toughest start to the season than any team in the division, with two difficult away games. We wanted to come away with six points but that hasn’t happened so we’ll look to Doncaster on Tuesday night to get ourselves back on track.
“I hope the fans will be back behind us once again in the first home game of the season, and I really felt for them today because they’ve worked hard all week, have families to support at home, but were still able to come and give us tremendous support a long way from home.
“We need them on Tuesday and we’re all determined to repay their faith with a win.”