Lee Bowyer was furious after Charlton’s 2-0 Sky Bet Championship defeat at Wigan, labelling it “the worst we’ve played since I’ve been in charge”.
The Addicks – who flew out of the blocks this season after winning promotion from League One – suffered their second defeat on the spin, after being second best all game to a Wigan side who picked up their first victory since the opening day.
Centre-back Chey Dunkley did all the damage for Wigan, with a goal for corners in either half – the first a clinical volley and the second a bullet header.
“Disappointing is probably an understatement,” Bowyer said.
“That’s the worst we’ve played since I’ve been in charge – certainly the first 45 minutes anyway.
“We were so bad, we couldn’t put three passes together.
“That just ain’t us, and to lose the game on two set-pieces – which just ain’t us – is hard to take.
“We normally pride ourselves on our set-pieces, but their centre-half scores a volley from inside the six-yard box, which shouldn’t be possible.
“Then he has a free header from inside the six-yard box, which shouldn’t be possible.
“Even after that we created enough chances to have got something from the game, for sure.
“But we just weren’t ruthless enough in front of goal – and last week was the same.
“It just wasn’t good enough from start to finish, and I’m struggling to find any sort of positives.”
For Wigan boss Paul Cook, it was a welcome return to winning ways, and a third game in a row without defeat.
It could have been an even more emphatic winning margin, with Charlie Mulgrew hitting the post in the second half.
That said, Wigan were indebted to Scotland number one David Marshall for a stunning double save in stoppage-time that preserved the clean sheet.
“We’re delighted to win,” Wigan boss Cook said.
“I thought the first half was a very strong performance from us, and we were probably unfortunate to only go in 1-0 up.
“We played really well, created numerous opportunities, and you’re always a little bit wary when you don’t get that second goal.
“You look at how strongly Charlton have started the season, how strong their threats are, especially going forward, and you’re worrying in case you slip up.
“But we saw the game out really well, we were grateful to David Marshall for pulling off a great save at the end, and we deserved to pick up the points.”
Cook was particularly pleased for Dunkley, who also scored at Hull last weekend – after going 17 months without a goal prior to that.
“Chey’s such a great lad, we’re all so fond of him as a person, we’re just delighted for him,” Cook added.
“Not just as a player, but he also epitomises everything you’re looking for in a person.
“He gives you everything he’s got, we’re delighted to have him, and he’s been brilliant for us.
“The lads were having a little joke that I wouldn’t let him go up the field at the end to get his hat-trick, but we’ll take just the two goals.”