Owen Coyle admitted he was left disappointed with his team’s second half performance against Brighton & Hove Albion at the DW Stadium on Saturday, when an Andrew Crofts goal succumbed Latics to their first home defeat of the season.
Latics had several opportunities to find the breakthrough before and after the break, including a gilt-edged chance for Grant Holt which the striker couldn’t convert, before Crofts headed home the winner moments later.
Coyle explained how there is a collective responsibility for the result and the response that he now wants his team to find.
He said: “The second half was disappointing, after what had been a dominant first half performance. We had numerous chances to take the lead whilst we were on top of the game which we didn’t take, which is disappointing because we’ve spoken a number of times this season about the need to be clinical in front of goal.
“After the break we didn’t get to the standards we had shown in the first 45 minutes, but we still created the best chance of the game when Grant stole in and found himself one-on-one with the goalkeeper. Nine times out of ten that chance ends with a goal, but it passed us by and Brighton go up the other end of the pitch and grab a goal for themselves, and a soft goal at that.
“Lee Nicholls has made a tremendous initial save but didn’t have the help he needed from his defenders and their player has been left with a soft header into the back of the net.
“Moments like that happen in football, but we had enough time after the missed opportunity and Brighton goal to find a response, but couldn’t.
“We huffed and puffed after that goal to try and get an equaliser, and had a couple of chances but couldn’t find a way past their keeper.
“It’s particularly disappointing given the fantastic home record we have this season at the DW Stadium, and we’ve given up an unbeaten record because of circumstances in the second that I wasn’t best pleased about.
“We know our standards are much higher and the objective now is to get back to those levels as soon as possible in what is going to be a busy schedule from here onwards; one which doesn’t allow us to dwell on set-backs but instead focus on what we need to do next.”