Leam Richardson urges Wigan to keep improving after win at AFC Wimbledon

Posted Sunday, October 24, 2021 by PA

Leam Richardson urges Wigan to keep improving after win at AFC Wimbledon

Wigan boss Leam Richardson has urged his side to keep improving after beating AFC Wimbledon 2-0 at Plough Lane.

Paul Kalambayi’s deflection into his own net gave the visitors the lead and James McClean’s third in three games sealed the win.

The Latics are within two points of Sky Bet League One leaders Plymouth, with two games in hand, and Richardson wants to maintain the momentum.

“I thought we were very professional, we started the game ever so well,” he said.

“Credit to Wimbledon, they showed a lot of energy getting up and down the pitch, and I felt we just had to match that and let our quality come through, and luckily it did.

“We’ve got to continue to improve. We’re still brand new together, we will have bumps in the road as you’ve seen but we improve every time. I know what we want from this team, collectively and individually.

“It’s good for these lads to be challenged, they’re professionals and when you’re professional you have to show attention to detail.

“We’re just trying to be competitive in every game. James [McClean] is part of that, and we’ve got a lot of lads with experience. James is part of that group that are representing themselves really well. We’ll grow and keep growing.”

Neither side got going in a slow first half although Wigan were almost rewarded for a strong start just six minutes in when Will Keane flicked on a low-driven cross from Tendayi Darikwa, only for Ben Heneghan to clear off the line.

Wimbledon may even have had the better of the opening 45 minutes, but could not find a way through and the second half saw Wigan seize control.

They flew out of the blocks, pulling ahead in the 50th minute when Callum Lang’s strike deflected in off Kalambayi.

After just having an effort cleared off the line, McClean curled a clean strike low to Nik Tzanev’s right from the edge of the box three minutes later.

By this point Wimbledon were running out of answers, and their task got even tougher when they lost Kalambayi to what looks to be a serious injury late on, finishing the game with 10 men.

Dons boss Mark Robinson said: “I thought the first half was quite even. We were quite happy coming in at 0-0 and were confident we could come out and start strongly in the second. Obviously we haven’t, we conceded two goals early and gave ourselves a mountain to climb.

“We need to improve consistency in all our form, not just at home. Wednesday and Wigan aren’t easy opponents, and even in the Burton game I thought we were the better side and probably warranted a win.

“We’ve got to keep looking at what we’re doing and trying to be effective. We’ve got a small squad as it is, I’ve lost PK [Kalambayi] and it doesn’t look good.

“His knee hyperextended as he landed and it looks like ligament damage. They’re just looking at it now and then they’ll send him for a scan.”


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