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Hecky: "I thought we controlled the game from start to finish."

19 November 2016

Head Coach satisfied with a point but feels the Reds could have taken all three against the Latics.

Reds head coach Paul Heckingbottom says his only criticism of his side is that they did not work the opposition defence enough in their goalless draw with Wigan Athletic.

Despite controlling the ball and having more shots, the Reds forwards were unable to break through the Wigan back line as they secured their second consecutive clean sheet.

Heckingbottom feels his side held their own against a very strong opposition, but felt the game could have been very different had the Reds have taken an early chance.

He said: “My only criticism would be that we didn’t work their ‘keeper enough but I thought we controlled the game from start to finish and we’re disappointed we didn’t get the three points.

“We’ve had a topsy-turvy season. We had a great start, then we had a spell where the performances were still there and we’d pick up a draw or a defeat, now we’re getting wins or draws which is obviously pleasing and a reward for the performances.

“Today obviously showed how far we’ve come as a club against a team who came up with us and romped our league.

“I thought we controlled the game but their set-up and line-up of starting without a centre forward, a centre midfielder playing right midfield and bringing a left-back on in front of a left-back.

“It showed they were coming here paying the utmost respect and trying to nullify us, which they did. It would have been a different game if we’d have scored one of the chances, especially in the first half.”

Marley Watkins was named as the man of the match by the Reds fans and Heckingbottom was impressed with the performance of the Reds winger. 

However, he also feels that the winger still has areas to improve and was impressed with Watkins off the pitch in suggesting areas to the head coach where he can still develop his game.

“He did well, you always know what you’re going to get from Marley but he’s still, like the rest of the players, a work in progress and we’ll still be looking at areas where we can improve him or make him more effective.

“He came out with one in the dressing room straight away to me and stuff like that pleases me because it shows where their mind is and they’re always wanting to improve,” he added.

Hecky’ also praised the Reds fans for their touching 80th minute gesture to owner Patrick Cryne and feels their planned action on Friday against Nottingham Forest will be another touching gesture.

“We had the free kick and I thought this would be a great moment, I did think this could happen but unluckily it didn’t.

“It would have been nice and I think they’ve got something else planned against Forest in front of the cameras and I think that will be really nice.”

Centre back Marc Roberts also returned to the side after a brief period out through injury.

Heckingbottom revealed it was a difficult decision to include the defender given his fitness but feels he is an integral part of his plans going forwards. 

“We have good players all over and every team I pick is difficult but that’s how we should be. We’re on a run where we’re unbeaten which makes it a little bit easier.

“But Robbo has been a big part of what we’ve done and I want decisions where it is difficult every week for every position, it shows the squad is good enough and in depth and everyone is hungry and wanting to play.

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