James McArthur holds his central midfield compatriot in high regard after his two goals against Queens Park Rangers.
“James (McCarthy) was brilliant all game,” said the 25-year-old.
“He was head and shoulders above everyone and he played really well and as a team we’ve always known what he is capable of.
“He did it a couple of seasons ago against Blackburn Rovers when he got two goals and he was just as outstanding then.
“James’ performances have been consistently good this season and he keeps on improving.
“Scoring those goals will give him confidence and hopefully push him onto the next level and in turn push us as a team and a club onto the next level as well.”
McArthur himself was making his first Barclays Premier League start since Latics’ 2-1 home win against West Ham United, a game in which he scored.
After three substitute appearances against Reading, Manchester City and Newcastle United, McArthur said he was delighted to be back in the starting XI.
“I enjoyed the game and I felt really good and I thought my fitness levels were very good.
“It was an end-to-end game and the energy needed to be really high which I think it was all the way through the team.
“It was good to be back and starting a game, it was a good game and I thought we did a lot of things very well and we were just unfortunate not to get the victory.”