Owen Coyle delighted by Wigan Athletic's dream start

Updated: 04 August 2013 08:39 IST

Coyle was able to soak up an eye-catching display from the FA Cup winners thanks to debut goals from Grant Holt and Leon Barnett, sandwiched between strikes from Ben Watson and Shaun Maloney, at Oakwell on Saturday.

Owen Coyle delighted by Wigan Athletic's dream start

London:

Wigan manager Owen Coyle saluted his new side as he enjoyed a dream start with a 4-0 away win against 10-man Barnsley on the opening day of the Championship season.

Coyle was able to soak up an eye-catching display from the FA Cup winners thanks to debut goals from Grant Holt and Leon Barnett, sandwiched between strikes from Ben Watson and Shaun Maloney, at Oakwell on Saturday.

Barnsley played the final 25 minutes a man down after substitute Dale Jennings was dismissed five minutes into his debut.

But the Latics, who are hoping for a quick return to the Premier League after last season's relegation, were already well on top by then and former Bolton and Burnley boss Coyle said: "I think if someone had told me before the game that the performance was going to be of that stature, then we'd have grabbed that with both hands.

"We knew in the early part of the game we were going to have to stand toe-to-toe with them and earn the right to play our football, which we did. It was ever so pleasing.

"We scored four goals and, if truth be told, we could have had a few more. But it's one game and there's 45 to come and we're certainly not getting carried away in terms of what it means. It means three points."

QPR, another of the teams relegated from the top-flight last season, also made a winning start with a 2-1 victory over Sheffield Wednesday at Loftus Road.

Nedum Onuoha and Andrew Johnson netted in quick succession as QPR recovered from Atdhe Nuhiu's early strike.

But Wednesday manager Dave Jones was furious with referee Scott Mathieson and his officials after some key decisions went against his team.

Michail Antonio saw a penalty appeal waved away in the first half when Wednesday were ahead, before Jacques Maghoma was given a yellow card by Mathieson for diving when caught by just-booked Joey Barton.

"I don't even think it is unlucky, I think it is an embarrassment for the official to miss the two clear-cut penalties," Jones said.

"He will go home tonight, put his feet up and get another game and I don't think it is right.

"Something has to be said - they can't keep making those mistakes. They are two big calls."

Watford manager Gianfranco Zola was relieved after the Hornets made a perfect start to the season with a 1-0 win at Birmingham.

Troy Deeney notched Watford's 11th-minute winner and former Chelsea striker Zola hopes the result is a sign of good things to come after last season's frustrating play-off final defeat against Crystal Palace.

"Everyone feels we are better prepared as we have more knowledge of the difficulties and we are looking forward making a strong challenge," Zola said.

"There are some good teams in the Championship and it will not be easy. But our attitude is very good and I thought Deeney took his goal exceptionally well.

"The application was excellent and I am looking to see it more and more during the season."

Nottingham Forest boss Billy Davies warned the rest of the Championship his side would only get stronger after a 1-0 win over Huddersfield.

A 52nd-minute goal from Henri Lansbury was enough to secure three points for the Reds from a closely-fought clash at the City Ground.

Davies, in his second spell as Forest boss, said: "There is work to do, we still need to work on our fitness, but the most important thing is that we picked up three points.

"Our new signings also still need to get to know each other and that will take many games. We need to find a balance and a consistency. It takes time to develop a team and build a club."

Elsewhere, newly-promoted Yeovil marked their first ever second tier fixture with a 1-0 win at Millwall.

Topics : Football Stoke City Wigan Athletic Newcastle United Everton Chelsea West Ham United Liverpool Tottenham Hotspur Fulham
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