We deserved to win: John Eustace disappointed as Birmingham held by Wigan
Birmingham manager John Eustace felt his team’s performance deserved more than the point it got as they were held to a frustrating 1-1 draw at Wigan.
Blues were ahead inside four minutes through Juninho Bacuna’s superb free-kick from 20 yards.
And although Ashley Fletcher equalised for Wigan on the hour mark, Birmingham then hit the same post three times in as many minutes midway through the second period.
After Bacuna had been adjudged to have been tripped by Ryan Nyambe, Scott Hogan sent his penalty against the right-hand upright.
Tahith Chong and Maxime Colin then hit the same bit of woodwork with a shot and a header respectively as both sides had to settle for a point.
“I’m disappointed we didn’t win the game,” said Eustace. “On the whole I thought we deserved to win the game.
“They had a lot of possession but didn’t really cause us a lot of problems.
“Listen, Wigan are playing good football now and they’re really stretching teams so the work rate and the effort the boys put in during that first half was magnificent.
“You can see we got a little bit leggy in that second half but fair play to the boys for continuing.
“Obviously the goal was disappointing because we’ve had a really good week on the training ground defending crosses.
“But overall the back five were magnificent, as were the midfield three in front of them, and the front two worked their socks off.”
On Bacuna, Eustace said: “He’s got that in his locker and his recent performances have been very good.
“I thought he really stepped up to the mark with a couple of young lads alongside him and it was a great performance.”
For Wigan boss Shaun Maloney, it was also a case of both one point gained and two points dropped.
“I think it’s quite a hard game to sum up,” he said. “They scored an amazing free-kick and then had a crazy three-minute spell in that second half where they hit the woodwork three times.
“But apart from that, the way the game went, I’m maybe a little bit disappointed we didn’t win the game, although I know we rode our luck at times.
“We made the change at half-time. We wanted to be more aggressive in terms of the position of our players and that suited Will Keane to come on.
“And you could see the dynamic of the game as soon as they scored – they gave us the ball and it was up to us to break them down.
“That’s not a game we’ve had for the five games since I’ve been here so I was actually pleased with how the team played, considering the way the opposition played.
“They tried to kill the game, which is understandable, but I was pleased with the way we stuck at it right to the death.”
It was the second week in a row Wigan have conceded a contentious penalty after Preston were gifted a way back into the derby at Deepdale seven days ago.
“I haven’t seen it back but I spoke to Ryan and he said it was soft, again,” said Maloney.
“We’re getting a little bit of bad luck with penalty decisions. But we’re also maybe getting a little bit of good luck with the woodwork being hit today, so hopefully the good will outweigh the bad in the run-in.”