Skip to main content Skip to site footer

Johnson: It’s nice to see the lads feeling confident in their forward play

10 October 2023


Johnson: It’s nice to see the lads feeling confident in their forward play

10 October 2023

Sponsored by

Manager Lee Johnson reacted to his side’s 3-3 draw against Wigan Athletic in the EFL Trophy after the game at the DW Stadium on Tuesday night.

His side went into the half-time break with a two-goal lead thanks to a Kabongo Tshimanga brace, but that was cancelled out as three second-half goals swayed the cup tie in Wigan’s favour, only for Josh Earl to come up trumps and net an equaliser deep into added time.

Substitute goalkeeper Tom Donaghy looked to be a hero in the shootout, after saving both Callum Lang and Tom Pearce’s penalties, but a few misses from the Town outfielders meant Charlie Hughes’ sudden-death penalty was enough to secure the added point on the night.

Here’s what the manager had to say after the game:

On the game…

“Honestly, I thought we were excellent. If I was to assess the game tonight, it could take me a while, but I thought we were the better side in the first half and we were comfortable. Our shape was outstanding, and our two young centre-halves were superb, and we were causing them lots of problems down our left.

“I think we should have had a greater lead at the break and at half-time we said don’t be bored of doing the correct things. We had to make a change due to discipline and put Ryan Broom at right back but once they got one back, they got ahead of steam.

“Ryann Graydon had an excellent chance and if he controls it, he slots the ball in and then Jayden [Stockley] hits the post as well so we had chances. Wigan are a team with a lot of Championship players, but I am disappointed in the manner in which we conceded the goals.”

“What a story for young Tom. He came on and saved two penalties and I was desperate for him to make those saves and help us to get the win, but it wasn’t meant to be. This was always going to be a learning game but we still have an opportunity to progress in this competition.”

On creating chances…

“It’s a good sign that we are creating chances. If you were to look at our expected goals in the last four to five games, they are way above average and that’s a positive sign but we need to balance that off with stability on the defensive side versus our goal scoring opportunities.

“You have to disrupt the back line and I thought Kabongo [Tshimanga] played really well tonight. He was knocking on my door as he wanted to be playing and he’s given himself a good chance of keeping his place with his performance tonight.

“For me, it’s nice to see the lads feeling confident in their forward play as we had some decent chances tonight. We were better with our defensive structure, but I didn’t think we deserved to concede three goals.”

On Jay Lynch’s injury and the Port Vale postponement…

“It is a worry. Throbbing is the word he used so for me that word doesn’t seem like anything has snapped or gone. Jay does have a previous achilleas issues and he just felt on the last action when they scored their second goal and he’s said to our Physio that it was throbbing so hopefully with a bit of care, he will be okay.

“I always like to play. I would have played this weekend, but Port Vale called it off. We were willing to play but they weren’t.”

Advertisement block

iFollow Next Match Tickets Account