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Kirkland: We deserved fans' wrath
Published : 15 Aug 2010 13:07:00
Chris Kirkland has admitted Wigan let their fans down with their shambolic opening-day performance against Blackpool. Despite playing at home against a side overwhelmingly tipped for relegation, Wigan collapsed to a dismal 4-0 defeat. Roberto Martinez's side were three goals down before the interval, knowing the deficit could easily have been even worse, before a Kirkland error gifted Alex Baptise a fourth after the break. It was a pitiful way to start the season and stand-in skipper Kirkland admitted Wigan deserved the boos that went ringing round the DW Stadium at half-time and after the final whistle. "To a man we let the fans down," said Kirkland. "They are entitled to say what they want. That is part of football. The way we played in the first half, we deserved it. "Now everyone has to stand up because we are going to take a lot of criticism, and rightly so. We weren't good enough." Kirkland revealed the uncertainty surrounding Charles N'Zogbia did not make the build-up any easier. N'Zogbia is demanding a move away from Wigan and was left out by Martinez yesterday because the manager did not feel the former Newcastle player was in the right frame of mind to play. Martinez has claimed the situation will be resolved next week, with the former Swansea boss determined "to do the right thing for Wigan". Yet, as Kirkland pointed out, this is a time for the Latics to pull together for their manager, which is not a position N'Zogbia is likely to put himself in. Kirkland himself has to improve given he was directly responsible for two Blackpool goals. And, with the opening day's other handsome winners, Chelsea, visiting Wigan next weekend, and memories of an eight-goal drubbing at Stamford Bridge on the final day of last season still fresh in the mind, Kirkland admits a form reversal has to be executed pretty quickly. "Last season's result was last season," he said. "It has no bearing on next week. The point is, if we play like we did against Blackpool we are going to get beaten. "We have a lot of hard work on the training ground in front of us, but by next weekend we have to pull our socks up and be ready to go again."