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Steve Bruce: I’m glad I didn’t have to pay to watch West Brom’s draw at Wigan

West Bromwich Albion v Hull City – Sky Bet Championship – The Hawthorns
(Image credit: David Davies)

Steve Bruce admitted West Brom served up their worst showing of the Sky Bet Championship season in the 1-1 draw at Wigan.

The Baggies made it five draws and only one win from their opening seven matches, and were booed off by a section of the away support.

Wigan took the lead inside seven minutes through Josh Magennis, before Karlan Grant took advantage of a poor pass from Tom Naylor to level the scores midway through the first half.

The rest of the game was largely uneventful, with Bruce acknowledging: “I’m glad I didn’t have to pay to watch it.

“Look, I can’t fault my team in terms of effort and endeavour, but we knew Wigan would have a backlash from the weekend (5-1 home defeat to Burnley), and we found it difficult.

“We couldn’t find the answers to be able to break through, we didn’t pass it well enough, and we didn’t have nearly enough penetration.

“It was a frustrating night for us, because we simply didn’t play well enough to win the match.

“We’ve been playing well of late, and just haven’t been able to get the result.

“Tonight, I didn’t think we played well enough to get the result, and I think a draw was probably a fair result.”

On the reception at the end, Bruce added: “I understand that, because they want to see their team win.

“I fully get that, they travel in their thousands, and I understand their frustration. For how well we played at the weekend, we didn’t play well enough here.

“It’s arguably as poor as we’ve played, and that’s the way it is, but also credit to Wigan, who were determined, aggressive, put it forward, and asked a few questions of us.”

For Wigan boss Leam Richardson, it was a great response to their weekend setback.

“I thought a draw was a fair result,” he said. “We’re obviously disappointed after taking the lead, and the manner of their equaliser.

“But when lads make honest mistakes like we did – and I mean this genuinely – I have no problem with that at all.

“I have a problem when players don’t run hard, or work hard, or have good habits throughout the week – I have big problems with that.

“But when they make honest mistakes, I have absolutely no issues, and we have to keep reminding ourselves of the clubs we’re going head to head with here.

“We’re still only just over a year from coming out of administration, and we’re coming up against the likes of West Brom, Burnley and Norwich.

“Tonight you’re talking about a manager with more than 1,000 games behind him, with a team that will be aiming for a top-six position, the calibre of player is there for all to see.

“Our lads are learning, they’re very honest, and they’ve accepted the challenge in front of them, which is being ready to go every 72 hours.”

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