Wigan came out on top against Bolton in the League Cup on Tuesday night to extend their unbeaten run in all competitions to five games.
The Latics have now not lost a competitive match since the opening day of the campaign against Sunderland.
Leam Richardson’s side were held to a 0-0 draw in 90 minutes by Bolton before ultimately beating them on penalties, with goalkeeper Jamie Jones even stepping up to smash one into the back of the net before Nathan Delfouneso’s miss sealed the win.
Despite progressing through to the third round, there were some negatives to take out of the match. One player, in particular, failed to take his opportunity to impress and let Richardson down: Gavin Massey.
The 28-year-old winger was handed a start on the right of the attacking quartet and failed to prove that he has what it takes to be a regular starter for the club.
This was a huge chance for him to put in a top-class display and force his way into Richardson’s plans for the rest of the season. He is yet to start a League One match this term, with three substitute cameos, and that appears unlikely to change any time soon on the evidence of Tuesday’s game.
Per SofaScore, he lost 50% of his duels and gave possession away 13 times from 44 touches of the ball. This shows that he was not strong enough on and off the ball to retain, or win back, possession for Wigan on the right flank, which is a worrying sign.
Along with his lack of composure in duels, Massey struggled to offer a consistent attacking outlet on the wing. In 90 minutes on the pitch, he failed to create a single chance and managed one shot whilst also failing with both of his attempted crosses and two of his three long balls.
He did not make an impact defensively or offensively for Wigan, letting Richardson – who offered him the opportunity to stake a claim for his place in the side – down.
It could be a while before the head coach decides that he deserves another start.
AND in other news, 100% duels won: Wigan beast with 69 touches stole the show against Bolton…