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Club News


23 December 2014

Manager wants continued hard work and mistakes to be cut out against Leeds United.

  • Leon Barnett side lined with hamstring injury.
  • “Mistakes need to stop.” – Mackay.
  • Watch the full interview on Latics Player.
Speaking ahead of Latics’ Boxing Day trip to Elland Road to take on Leeds United, manager Malky Mackay reflected on the weekend’s 2-1 defeat at home to Rotherham United to highlight what needed to improve in his side’s performance.

“We’ve looked back at the Rotherham game and I’m disappointed with the result based on the amount of good chances we actually ended up creating,” said the 44-year-old.

“The first goal we gave away was poor and the boys know that they need to cut out those individual errors that are costing us games at the moment.

“Looking back on the results so far, they’ve all been pretty close defeats and by one goal, so it’s just something we need to work hard on to turn around.

“It’s just about keeping up the work rate on the training ground and drilling it into the players.  The demands have to be on the players themselves, to cut out silly errors and that will make sure they play to a consistent standard.”

Latics finished Saturday’s game with only 10 players on the pitch after all three substitutes had been used when Leon Barnett pulled up with a hamstring complaint, one which will keep the defender side lined according the Mackay.

“Leon Barnett has picked up a little injury and will be out for a couple of weeks with his hamstring.  It’s unfortunate and disappointing because we want him fit and ready for games.

“Other than Leon and Martyn Waghorn’s continued recovery from his shoulder injury we’re all good and ready to go.

“This is a big chance for our other defender to prove themselves in Leon’s absence, it’s about people taking their chances when they come along.

“We’ll have to judge who is right to come into that position against Leeds and it’s really about who impresses me and the staff in training every day.”

Mackay saw a different member of his squad return at the weekend when Oriol Riera came off the bench and hit the crossbar, a promising sign says his manager.

“The forwards coming in are getting their chances off the bench, it’s about taking those chances and showing what they can do.  Oriol showed us what he can do with his header unfortunately coming back off the bar.

“It’s also about keeping those levels of work up in training too, and that’s the measure I see whether players are on the bench or starting games.”

In the opposite dugout on Boxing Day will be Neil Redfearn and Mackay believes the former Latics midfielder who made 22 appearances for the club in the 2000/01 season will provide a stiff challenge.

“It’s going to be a tough one, Elland Road is never an easy place to go and I’m pretty sure we’ll face a fierce atmosphere.

“There’ll be a good crowd on with it being Boxing Day, and that includes the supporters coming to get behind us.

“They’re a club in transition again and there have been a couple of managers this year, but Neil Redfearn knows the club inside out and I don’t expect anything other than a tough task ahead of us.

“Neil is very experienced in terms of what he knows about the club, and he’ll certainly have his players fired up.”

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