Gaffer praises McManaman after winger notches his first goal of the campaign in 2-2 draw with Reading.
- Rosler ‘A good point for us’
- Praise for ‘outstanding’ Emyr Huws
- We’ll get everybody firing soon
Latics boss Uwe Rosler was full of praise for Callum McManaman after the winger got his 2014-15 campaign off to a flying start with a superb first-half performance as James McArthur notched a 93rd minute equaliser to earn a 2-2 draw with Reading at the DW Stadium.
McManaman looked a threat from the off and he was rewarded for relentless persistence on 26 minutes when the ball broke kindly for him in the area and he chipped Adam Federici in the Royals’ goal for his first strike of the campaign.
And Rosler says the full pre-season has been a huge benefit to the former Everton youth.
“I think we competed reasonably well, I think we had been the better team for most of the game but the difference between the teams in the first-half was Callum McManaman,” Rosler said.
“This is the difference with Callum, when you have him after a full pre-season, he’s a different player compared to last year.
“Throughout the whole pre-season and throughout the friendly games he’s been excellent so I’m very happy for him to get the goal – especially in the first-half he was fantastic.
“That’s what we want from him; we want him to contribute with goals and assists.”
Five players made their Latics debuts on Saturday including Oriol Riera and also Emyr Huws who was reserved for special praise by Rosler after a battling performance in midfield.
“Oriol contributed with a match-deciding moment with the header for James McArthur’s goal,” he continued.
“I have to praise Emyr Huws; he had only trained three days with us but he was outstanding, a fantastic performance, physically strong on the ball and he got us playing by getting the ball down in the first-half.
“I’m also happy Shaun Maloney played 30 minutes, his first 30 minutes of the whole pre-season.
“We have to overcome the start of the season with hanging in there until we get everybody firing.”
It looked as if Latics may lose their season opener after Shaun Cummings and Sean Morrison scored twice in six minutes for the Royals with a quarter-hour remaining.
And Rosler explained that a lack of a full pre-season for the likes of Don Cowie and McArthur showed as the second-half wore on.
“In the second-half, I thought the game opened up a little bit and I thought that we would get a little bit more time on the ball and play more of our football but obviously second-half we missed energy all over the pitch,” Rosler continued.
“We had too much pressure on us from sitting back and, if you don’t have energy and running capacity, you can’t play the way we want to play.
“I have some sort of understanding as to why that happened because in the engine room we had players who have not been part of our pre-season after coming back from injuries.
“For me, we got out of jail and it was a very important point for us, especially when you see other results in the division.”
And now the German boss expects to make a few changes for Tuesday evening’s Capital One Cup clash at Burton Albion.
“I think in midfield we will have to make changes because Don Cowie I had to take off as a precautionary measure as he’s still not 100%,” Rosler added.
“James McArthur as well, you saw today how he just came back from injury but still how important he is to us – it was fantastic how he made that last run and got us the goal.
“There will be changes, Roger Espinoza will be available for us again after a spasm in his back and obviously we’ll try to get reinforcements in certain areas.”