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Holden: “The Lads Are Hurting In There.”

10 January 2016

Assistant manager Dean Holden admitted the squad are hurting after yesterday’s cruel 1-2 defeat to Millwall but has drawn positives from a committed performance.

Mike Jones equalised on the hour mark after Lee Gregory had given the Lions a second minute lead.

With Latics pushing for the winning goal, and looking the likelier of the two sides to get it, they were caught on the break as Steve Morison headed home at the back post to win the game for Millwall.

Speaking after the game, Holden said: “I’ve just come from the office and Neil Harris has come in and apologised and said it feels like we have robbed you today and it definitely feels like that at the moment. 

"The lads are hurting in there but if you look at the game we started sloppy and got caught cold with the opening goal. It took us a while to get going but once we did we got a foothold in the game and we kept the ball in their final third for good periods. 

"We created other things but in the second half the tempo was right up there. We feel a bit hard done by but football is like that.

"The last few performances have improved dramatically game by game and today was the best one we’ve had at home for a while. The tempo we played at, the aggression and the conditions, the lads were throwing themselves in front of things, running and sprinting and that’s all you can ask for. 

"We’ve got to keep putting the work in, as we are doing on the training pitch and know where the issues are. It counts in both boxes and we know that. Through the middle part of the pitch we are as good as anyone but football is won in both boxes and that’s something we are trying to rectify.

"It’s been a tough week. We all know what’s gone on behind the scenes this week. Lads have left and we’ve tried to get one or two in but not managed to get them over the line which happens so there is no point in moaning about it and you just get on with it. 

“Myself, the gaffer, Keith Brown, the staff and the players are all hurting at the moment, there is no question about that, but the commitment today was there for all to see."

Jonathan Forte entered the fray after 65 minutes and provided a boost in attack which lifted the supporters.

“That was the huge positive from today,” Holden admitted. “You could hear the huge support from the crowd when he came on and he gave us pace and power on the wing which was something different. 

“It was great to see him getting up and down that line and he got at his full back and got the crosses in the box but it just didn’t drop for us but it was great to get half an hour into his legs.”

The fans really got behind David Dunn’s men yesterday and Holden was appreciative of that.

“Certainly at home, when you put the performance in and you go for it, the crowd get right behind you, and that’s what happened today,” he said. 

“Unfortunately we couldn’t get the three points we deserved but we’ll be putting the hard work in this week to do it next week up at Bradford next weekend."

Watch the full interview on Latics PlayerHD.

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