Preston North End penalty questioned by Wigan Athletic boss who said they were everything he was expecting

Wigan Athletic manager Shaun Maloney questioned the decision to give Preston North End a penalty in his side’s 2-1 defeat at Deepdale on Saturday.
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Verdict – PNE finally got their win but there is so much more going on

Wigan took the lead in the first half through on own goal by Greg Cunningham after Christ Tiehi won the ball and played a one-two with Ashley Fletcher, shooting at goal and seeing the Irishman turn it into the net on the line.

Daniel Johnson won a loose ball during a spirited second half display and drove forward, in the end winning a penalty as Ben Amos came out to try and block his shot. The Jamaican managed to poke the ball past him towards goal but the pair clashed knees and referee Thomas Bramall pointed to spot, with Johnson converting the spot kick.

Wigan Athletic manager Shaun Maloney reacts in the technical areaWigan Athletic manager Shaun Maloney reacts in the technical area
Wigan Athletic manager Shaun Maloney reacts in the technical area
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Tom Cannon netted North End’s second a few minutes later to give them home side the win.

Maloney felt the result reflected a bit harshly on his side, who tasted defeat for the first time under his management.

"I don't think we performed quite well enough to win it, but I also don't think we did enough to lose it either," he said. “There were some big moments in the second half when we didn't defend well enough, and do the fundamentals you need to do well enough.

"That's why we lost two goals, which have cost us. The penalty decision was obviously a big moment, but how we got there was probably more disappointing.

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"I didn't think it was a penalty, but the ball came from deep in the Preston half, and we just didn't do what we've been doing in the last four games. We have to match runners, the real basics of defending, and if we have to stop the game, we stop the game. I just don't think Preston had to work hard enough for their goals today and that's probably the most disappointing aspect of the afternoon.

"It's a big blow, it's our first blow, but these players have been fantastic for four games. But even winning at half-time, I wasn't happy with parts of our play in the first half.

"We could have been so much better, but it's all about how we respond now, and we have to go again Monday."

PNE got their first home league win since November at the expense of the Latics, though Maloney did not look to use thier barren run against them.

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The Wigan boss praised PNE and how they play though admitted he knew what was coming.

He said: "I know they'd been in a certain run of form. They can do both, they can try and play through you or play really quick long passes. As for the second goal, that's what they do.

"They can play the ball in the space in behind you and it hurts you. Preston were everything that I expected. The games that I've watched of Preston I liked a lot of what they did.

"I respect each opponent, we're in the sort of position where I don't think you can not think like that. There are things that they do well and things that they do well that hurt us that shouldn't have done today, particularly their second goal.

"Even the first, it comes from not tracking a run which is a real fundamental. Fair play, they won the game and we go again on Monday.”

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