'Not good enough, we were weak' - West blasts rock-bottom Latics

Date published: 18 August 2021

Assistant head coach Colin West pulled no punches after Latics slid to the bottom of League Two to thanks to a 1-0 defeat at Joey Barton's Bristol Rovers.

Harvey Saunders' first-half goal won it for the hosts, who had been propping up the table ahead of the game.

Latics have now lost their opening three league games of the 2021/22 campaign.

"It was men against boys in the first half," blasted West, who is still standing in for boss Keith Curle as he continues his recovery from a bout of Covid-19.

"We never got to grips with anything in the first half, in terms of physicality.

"Bristol were bottom of the league before tonight, scrambling around for points, and we just didn't turn up.

"There's not enough men in that dressing room at the moment.

"When I went in there at half-time there should have been fights going on.

"People should have been having other people up against the wall.

"It's just not good enough, we were weak.

"We're not winning second balls, not putting balls into the right area.

"Our fans came again tonight and to be honest it was money wasted in the first half.

"The second half was a little bit better because we changed the shape, but the game was lost in the first half as Bristol already had the momentum.

"We've got to liven up and grow up quick.

"Bristol just wanted it more than us - you could tell the way they were tackling and getting after people.

"We just didn't have the heart."

Saunders broke the deadlock in the 35th minute, powerfully heading home Harry Anderson's left-wing cross, with the ball taking a deflection on its way in.

The strike ended an eight-match losing streak for Joey Barton's men, stretching back to last season.

Rovers could have been out of sight by the break.

Luke Thomas was wide with two decent chances, while Aaron Collins had a shot blocked and another saved.

The visitors improved after the break, with substitute Nicky Adams wasting a good chance to equalise when firing high over the bar after 69 minutes.

Ousseynou Cisse had a shot blocked, but Rovers also created openings and were good value for the points.

Latics return to Boundary Park on Saturday for a home clash against Colchester United.

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