Date:Saturday January 12 2008
Nearly 2,000 Wiganers came away from Pride Park today happy with the result but frustrated at a dis-jointed ineffectual performance that could be described as a "lucky win".
Paul Jewell included all his four new signings today in an attempt to turn the tide and Steve Bruce replaced the injured Taylor with the debutant Palacios thereby ignoring the regular left winger in the early part of the season in Jason Koumas.
Wigan started like an express train a break by Valencia resulted in a shot which appeared goal bound until a defender got in the way .
After that the first half was mostly one way traffic, Derby rarely threatened and when thye did the superb Titus Bramble who must be the coolest player on the pitch nullified any attacks.
Kirkland was only called into action several times, a couple of brave dives at Villa`s feet and one superb save although the linesman`s flag was already up.
At the other end Wigan totally dominated a nervous Derby defence with Claude Davis particularly looking under pressure but Heskey and Bent were both off key and Bent missed a good chance and then had a goal disallowed for offside.
Michael Brown totally dominated Robbie Savage and a poor clearance from the Welshman fell to Brown who forced Price into a good save.
The best chance of the half came in injury time, the ball bounced about several times in the area and there appeared to be a good shout for a penalty, however Clattenberg didn`t blow and when the ball fell to Valencia he conspired to blast wide
The second half started much the same as the first, Wigan totally dominated the possession but seemed content to either walk the ball into the net or pass backwards much to the frustration of the travelling faithful.
The turning point came in the 59th minute when a foul by Davies resulted in a second yellow. My view is that this was harsh, certainly it was a foul but worse tackles hadn`t resulted in a yellow card one lunge on Valencia in the first half comes to mind in particular.
Wigan attempted to stretch Derby but Derby marshalled a rear guard action which Bent and Heskey couldn`t break down.
Steve Bruce however came to the rescue, replacing debutant Palacios with Koumas who received a tremendous reception from the Latics fans.
Koumas looked sharp and stretched the Derby defence creating more space for the rest of the team.
In the 80th minute Siberski replaced Landzaat Bruce deciding to maximise the man advantage and go to 4 -3 -3.
Siberski`s first touch was a rasping shot from the edge of the penalty areas which left Lewis with no chance and Latics had the lead.
From then on Latics shut up shop and Derby didn`t seem to have the skill to break down the resolute defence.
At the final whistle "Super Mario" led the majority of the team down to the jubilant Wigan fans. It was evident how much this result meant in terms of moving away from the bottom three and maintaining the momentum built up under Bruce`s stewardship.
A poor performance but a good result which moves us onto the same number of points as Bolton and Birmingham
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Date:Saturday January 12 2008
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