Boss previews visit of his former club on Northern Soul Day at the DW Stadium.
- Plenty of positives going into the game.
- Norwich a club full of great people.
- Players have been “bright and alive” this week in training.
Latics manager Malky Mackay says Saturday’s visit of his former club Norwich City is a game both sides really need to win.
Latics have won just once in 14 games and find themselves in 23rd place in the Sky Bet Championship table whilst the Canaries have dropped to 11th after winning just once in their last ten matches.
And the Scot is taking positives from the performances he’s seen against Middlesbrough and Sheffield Wednesday, as well as a good week of training, into the fixture against the Norfolk outfit.
“Both teams need to win the game and we’ll certainly be trying to do that,” Mackay said. “They’re coming to our ground and we’re a couple of weeks in now so the feet are under the table and there are a lot of plus points in terms of the people, the staff and also the players in training over this period.
“I think also the two performances that we’ve put in haven’t perhaps been rewarded with the points we’ve deserved but on the back of Middlesbrough and Sheffield Wednesday, it certainly gives me great hope going forward.
“The players been really bright and alive this week in training, the weather has been good and we’ve got a couple of really good sessions into them.”
Mackay made over 200 appearances during six years at Carrow Road between 1998 and 2004 in his first venture into English football and he says it’s a club that means a lot to him as his former teammate Neil Adams brings the Canaries to the DW Stadium.
“It’s a club that has been very close to my heart,” he added. “It’s the first club I played for in England – a long time ago now – I was there for six years, my son, Callum, was born in the hospital there and we had some real good times there, winning promotion being a particular highlight.
“They’re really good people, a terrific fan base, a one team county and a huge amount of support that is very passionate about its club.
“Delia Smith and Michael Wynn-Jones are people that have cared for that football club for an awful long time and it will be good to see them on Saturday.
“I was delighted when Neil got the job as manager, he’s a good man and someone that has been in the club a long time; he’s a club man and it was good to see him get the job and I’ll look forward to seeing him.”
Mackay will have Don Cowie available again this weekend after the midfielder featured for the development squad on Tuesday afternoon in a 1-0 win over Walsall.
Martyn Waghorn is still unavailable whilst Oriol Riera is doubtful.
“It was good to get Don back playing; he had a little issue with his back so it’s good to get him minutes under his belt,” Mackay continued.
“I know what he can do and we got minutes under the belt for some of the other lads that need it as well because, if they’re not going to play on a Saturday, they need to be ready because this is a squad game and this whole week is about having a squad that is available and fit and able to step right in to the frenetic pace of this division.
“For that to happen, you need to get match minutes into them so that, when they do step in, they’re ready to go.
“Martyn Waghorn is still out for another two weeks or so, Oriol Riera has a knock on his ankle so we’re looking at that but other than that everyone from the squad I took over is ready.”