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MANAGER'S VERDICT | WIGAN (A)

24 April 2021

JIMMY Floyd Hasselbaink said he was delighted after his side secured Sky Bet League One safety, following today’s draw against Wigan Athletic at the DW Stadium.

Joe Powell scored a stunning free-kick in the 16th minute to put the Brewers ahead, only for Albion to be pegged back by Will Keane's header before half-time.

Both sides went for a second goal in the second half but neither could find the breakthrough, and with Rochdale and Northampton both drawing, it meant the Brewers now cannot mathematically be caught by any of the sides currently in the bottom four.

When Hasselbaink and Dino Maamria took charge, they watched the Brewers fall to a defeat against Oxford that left the side eight points adrift of safety - and now, the squad is able to celebrate safety with three games to play.

“I am absolutely delighted to do this with three games to go – now we cannot be caught," said Hasselbaink.

“It was not pretty at times today but it was never going to be pretty, they are fighting for their lives, we are fighting for ours.

“We needed to get the job done, with these kind of matches you can’t do anything about it. You end up playing the result and you don’t play the game - that’s why the game wasn’t a great game.

“We got ourselves a good foothold in the game but we didn’t keep going really (in the first half). In the second half we both cancelled each other out, but we both deserved the draw.”

When asked where he ranked the achievement of keeping the Brewers in the league, Hasselbaink said: “I think when I came the first time, we got them promoted. I took over from Gary Rowett, we got them promoted and in League One they kicked on.

"We left them in first and with the record that we had, that was a massive (achievement).

“I think with this spell, coming in when the confidence was low, where nobody believes in us and we had to hit the ground running - to now have it done with three games to go, the amount of points we have accumulated in 20 matches, I think we are top of the (form) league.

"I think it's right up there. It's an amazing achievement but we're not there yet - we still have three games, we'll take each game as it comes and we want to perform on Tuesday."


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