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Why was our performance so poor?

I review our below par performance in South Yorkshire at the weekend and try to reveal what were the problems in the team on that bleak day for the club.

Clive Mason

I like many others on Saturday watched the 90 minutes in South Yorkshire and wondered what went wrong? Arguably it was our wrost performance of the season a long with Leicester City and of course the dreaded 3-1 against Derby County. Although, I think in many cases the majority of us are sympathetic towards the team and Uwe Rosler with a touch of " I told you so".

Rosler has to take some of the blame for the poor performance on Saturday as I felt tactically the German got it all wrong. In the 120 minutes last Tuesday that saw the Latics progress through to the 4th round of the FA Cup, the opening 45 minutes of the game saw a very unusual Wigan get opened up on several occasions. The team in the replay saw Wigan adopt a 3 at the back style with Leon Barnett being the only defender in that 3 with Ben Watson and Chris McCann accompanying him.

Wigan again adopted a back 3 on Saturday but with a bit more organization as Emmerson Boyce returned to his place but Chris McCann retained his place in defence. In general, McCann has improved since our change in management but still remains a generally poor player, so playing him position is a recipe for disaster. McCann looked unconvincing all afternoon with no confidence on the ball and looked a hazard at the back for the majority of the game. As ever, Watson being on the field is a position wasted, his inability to create a presence in the middle of the park proved a great hindrance all game. As an all round midfielder, Watson's confidence going forward is very unconvincing and his lack of conviction in tackles is a tad concerning. On a plus side though, I do find his experince at times does become unprecedented at times but can out answer for his below par performances each week,although I think it improved yesterday, his deliveries from dead ball situations was once again generally poor. Roger Espinoza should have a start above the FA Cup hero week in week out. Ben Watson will forever be a legend in Wigan Athletic's history for his heroics last May, but he is not a good player. I standby the midfield 3 of Jordi Gomez, James McArthur and Roger Espinoza to be our best selection in midfield as the variation of abilities would provide an excellent range to our play.

Uwe Rosler admitted his side weren't at the races when he spoke to BBc Sport:

"We weren't at our best and I think the run of games we've had recently caught up with us.

"We never really got the ball down or had enough penetration to hurt them. All credit to Doncaster, they deserved to win.

"It's how we bounce back now that's important and I'm looking forward to seeing a reaction from my players because collectively we were not at the races."

The signing of Nicky Maynard eased pressures off Marc-Antoine Fortune and Nick Powell in the goal scoring department, but didn't get off to the best of starts in his debut. I do sympathize for the Cardiff loanee though as being a loan striker on your debut when you have certain score to settle can be a tough ask. He influenced the game in few ways and wasn't able to threaten Ross Turnbull bar one occasion. He is our Jermaine Beckford, a hit and miss signing that I'm a bit pessimistic about but could potentially be a promotion lifeline.

Fatigue I think played a part in our showing at the weekend, the replay alone in midweek was going to cause problems but the extra half an hour I think caused the embarrassing performance on Saturday. Several players played all 120 minutes on Tuesday with the likes of Nick Powell and Boyce playing  their part. Doncaster hadn't played for a week allowing them to recuperate well and prepare for an inform Latics side.

There you have it, Selection, tactics and fatigue were the key problems of our latest performance which ultimately resulted in a 3-0 loss against 3rd bottom Doncaster Rovers. A full week's rest and preparation and a bit of a wake up call that Chris McCann isn't a centre half and Ben Watson isn't a good player ahead of our 4th round tie against Crystal Palace could help the side as they attempt to keep the hopes of regaining the Cup alive.