Wigan Athletic’s relegation fears were unable to be somewhat alleviated last night when they fell to defeat to Derby County.
The defeat leaves Paul Cook’s side hovering just three points above the drop zone, despite taking the lead at Pride Park.
Wigan have failed to win any of their last five, but having drawn their previous four before last night’s reverse, it was their only defeat in their last six matches.
And that indifferent form has kept the club in the clutches of a relegation battle.
Gavin Massey scored the opener after 25 minutes, and that would be the difference between the two sides before Mason Bennett restored parity just after the hour mark, before Scott Malone’s winner in the 78th minute compounded the loss.
And Massey’s performance typified Wigan’s struggles last night.
Wigan managed just three shots on target, one of those being Massey’s goal – which was his only effort in the 70 minutes he played.
The 26-year-old, who played wide on the right at the home of the Rams could consider his goal pretty fortunate.
And it was, due to a Scott Malone error to allow the winger in.
That was the highlight of a pretty forgetful performance.
Massey only manager 1.8 per cent possession of the entire evening – he was only capable of clocking up 23 touches of the ball – that works out to around 0.3 touches per minute.
He cut a forlorn figure on the wing at times, pulling off just 12 passes.
The lack of time on the ball could be a reason for his lack of ability to complete more than just six of his passes.
A 50 per cent pass success rate isn’t the best from 12 passes attempted, and that would have played a part in the Latics’ collapse in the second half.
Two dribbles were attempted but not completed, with the winger being dribbled past on one occasion as well as trying and losing just one aerial duel in attack.
The wide man failed in winning is his only attempted tackle and made one clearance.
All those stats combined contributed the Massey leaving the pitch early with 20 minutes to go having hardly had a sniff, despite the goal.
For all of Wigan’s endeavour in the first half, they were off the pace in the second and Massey, typified the plight of the struggling Latics.