Wigan 0-3 Reading: Warren Joyce gets off to nightmare start with Latics
By PA Sport
Last Updated: 05/11/16 7:45pm
The Warren Joyce era at Wigan began in nightmare fashion as two early Garath McCleary goals helped Reading win 3-0 at the DW Stadium.
Latics this week hired former Manchester United reserve team manager Joyce on a three-and-a-half-year contract after removing Gary Caldwell following a disappointing start to the season that left them in the Championship relegation zone.
Any hope Joyce's arrival would prompt an immediate upturn in fortunes were banished in the opening five minutes as McCleary's early brace put Jaap Stam's side in charge, with Yann Kermorgant's second-half penalty sealing a third straight league success.
Just 57 seconds were on the clock when McCleary made it 1-0 by latching onto George Evans' long ball and capitalising on some confusion between Reece Burke and Adam Bogdan to flick into the net.
Within five minutes, the Royals were two goals up as McCleary was allowed to run at Latics' backline and beat Bogdan again with a right-foot shot from distance.
The fans who had come to see the dawning of a new era were now booing after witnessing a dreadful opening five minutes.
Their team did settle, although Stam's side continued to have the better openings and Kermorgant might have had a brace himself had Jake Buxton not made two crucial blocks.
Joyce turned to his bench at half-time and Yanic Wildschut, one of the two players dropped from the team that defeated Cardiff last weekend, was brought on for Jordi Gomez.
The Dutch winger immediately provided a spark and Adam Le Fondre nearly turned in his cross from the left, while another effort from the Latics forward had to be helped behind by former Wigan goalkeeper Ali Al Habsi.
A goal may have given the home side hope but the Reading victory was confirmed in the 63rd minute when Max Power tripped John Swift in the box.
McCleary passed on the chance to score a treble and left Kermorgant with the spot-kick, which he converted as Wigan fans started heading for the exit.
More may have followed had Danny Williams kept his effort down when being set up by the impressive Swift, and the only consolation for Joyce was that it did not get worse, which it would have done had a stoppage-time goal from Yakou Meite not been ruled out for offside.
Wigan boss Warren Joyce:
"You're under no illusions before the game starts that it's going to be a tough game, but we've given them a two-goal lead. It's basics even if you're in under-14 football - a straight ball goes down the middle after 90 seconds and they don't deal with it, you're 1-0 down and you've got a mountain to climb.
"The heartening thing was that the players didn't give up, that would be a bigger worry if I saw players giving up, hiding, not wanting to run and keep going when you're two or three down. I didn't think they did that."
Reading boss Jaap Stam:
"We spoke about what we can expect, with a new manager in, how they want to play, probably press us high up and don't give us time to play out from the back. The pace that we have up front we knew we could be a threat in behind if we do it well, if the runs are at the right time and we started doing that immediately and scored two early goals.
"You want to make it easy for yourself. After that sometimes we got a bit sloppy in how we wanted to play. You don't want to give goals away because it gives them confidence. How we played, how we defended, how we created chances, we did that very well and we deserved that win."