Nottingham Forest continued their dismal run with a fifth consecutive defeat under manager Philippe Montanier. Wigan dumped The Reds are out of the FA Cup courtesy of goals from Will Grigg and Yanic Wildschut. Wigan 'keeper Jakob Haugaard also kept out a late Eric Lichaj penalty in what was a dismal display from the away side.
Forest second best throughout first-half
Despite many teams making a host of changes for this competition, Montanier gave the tournament the respect it deserves. He made just one change to the Forest starting line-up which was forced as David Vaughan missed out through injury. Nicklas Bendtner was the replacement as he started upfront alongside Britt Assombalonga.
Forest made a bright start at The DW Stadium as they came out of the blocks quickly. Matty Cash had an early free-kick which came to nothing. Forest thought they had taken the lead when Nicolau Dumitru found the back of the net but the linesman raised his flag for offside.
However, Wigan started to get themselves into the game and put Forest onto the back foot. Nick Powell was inches away from giving the home side the lead as his close range free-kick went just wide. Unfortunately for Powell, he had to go off through injury just moments later and Warren Joyce replaced him with Jordi Gomez. Michael Jacobs had another great chance for the Latics but he could only scuff his effort wide of the target.
Eric Lichaj had to be alert to prevent Sam Morsy from giving Wigan the lead as he blocked his shot in the penalty area. Jacobs put a fantastic delivery into the area shortly after but neither Will Grigg or Jordi Gomez could convert.
Wigan finally got the goal their first-half performance merited in injury time. Stephen Warnock again found himself in space on the left-hand side of the pitch and his cross was turned in by Grigg to give the home side a 1-0 lead on the stroke of the referee's half-time whistle.
It was a very disappointing first-half performance from Forest, who were backed in good numbers by their supporters. However, Wigan thoroughly deserved their lead after dominating possession and having a host of chances throughout.
Wigan take advantage of dismal Forest display
Wigan started the second-half as they had finished the first by putting the Forest defence under immediate pressure. Will Grigg could have made it 2-0 after a lack of communication at the back for Forest but he couldn't convert.
Montainier decided to replace star-striker Assombalonga with Lica shortly after half-time, a decision which was not greeted well by Forest supporters. To make matters worse, Wigan doubled their advantage shortly afterwards. Yanic Widschut found himself in space in the area and his low driven shot beat Stephen Henderson to make it 2-0.
Forest really struggled to get themselves back into the game as Mustapha Carayol came on in place of Dumitru. However, Montanier's substitutions failed to make any impact as Wigan continued to control possession with relative ease.
The away side had the perfect opportunity to get themselves back into the game with 10 minutes to go. Forest were awarded a penalty by referee Oliver Langford as Lica was fouled in the area. Remarkably, Forest defender Lichaj stepped forward to take the spot kick but saw it kept out by Latics keeper Haugaard.
Forest desperately tried to find a goal to get themselves back into the game but to no avail. Hilderberto Pereira made his frustration clear in injury time and was possibly lucky to just be given a yellow card by referee Langford. Jordan Flores was inches away from making it worse for Forest as his effort just went wide as it ended 3-0 to the home side.
Big change needed at The City Ground
This performance at The DW Stadium has made it even more evident that big change is needed at the club. With a takeover of the club set to be completed on Tuesday, it is vital that potential new owner John Jay Moores makes big changes to the set up at the club. He is said to have a significant number of people lined up to fill key positions at The City Ground as a new era is on the horizon.
Whether manager Philippe Montanier is in his plans is yet to be seen. This poor performance from his Forest side is unlikely to do him many favours. There have been rumours that the new owners could have Gary Rowett lined up as a possible replacements. There is no doubt that something has to change drastically if Montanier is to keep hold of his job.
Forest return to league action in The Championship next weekend away to Birmingham City at St Andrews. Hopefully, the Forest supporters will have some good news in the upcoming week ahead of this fixture and possibly even a managerial change. Forest need to get out of this losing habit quickly as they find themselves only two points off the relegation zone and have now also crashed out of the FA Cup.
As for Wigan Athletic, this was Warren Joyce's first home victory in charge of the club and it was a fantastic performance to go with it. They can take many positives from this performance and reaching the Fourth Round of the FA Cup. Latics fans will be dreaming of repeating their success of winning the trophy back in 2013.
They can now take this confidence into their crucial match against Burton Albion next weekend in The Championship as they continue their battle to stay in the division.