"Malky Mackay the right man to lead us back to the Premier League." – Dave Whelan.The club can confirm that Malky Mackay has been appointed as the new manager of Wigan Athletic.
The 42 year-old former Cardiff City and Watford manager was described by Latics Chairman Dave Whelan as ‘overwhelmingly the outstanding candidate’ for the position, following the departure last week of Uwe Rosler.
“He is the man to lead us back into the Premier League, I am convinced of that having met him and discussed the demands of the job ahead of him.
“He has led a team out of the Championship before and he knows this league inside out having played and managed in it. His achievements at Cardiff City were magnificent and we need a strong leader who will command the respect of a very experienced and talented dressing room – and he is the man to do it. I am delighted we have secured the services of someone who has so much to give to the game.“
Regarding the controversy which has surrounded Mackay in recent months, Mr Whelan said: “I know that this appointment will draw criticism in some quarters but we go into it with our eyes open and we have nothing to hide on this subject.
“Malky made a mistake, he knows that, we know that and we have discussed this issue at length face to face. He apologised publicly for what happened at the time and has paid for what he did in terms of the bad publicity he has received since and will no doubt continue to suffer in the future.
“But I believe that it is now time to move on. Contrary to the way he has been portrayed in recent months, the Malky Mackay I met this week, and who has been vouched for by the many different people from whom we have sought advice before making this appointment, is an honourable man.
“He is a committed family man with decent values and is a professional who has worked and thrived for over 20 years in the multi-cultural world of modern football. There is nothing more to say about this subject, and as far as I am concerned we draw a line under it from today.“
Belshill-born Mackay began his managerial career at Watford, graduating from being a player at Vicarage Road into the coaching set up under both Ade Boothroyd and later Brendan Rodgers. He took over the reins when Rodgers left for Reading in 2009 and stabilised the Hornets with two solid Championship finishes before joining Cardiff City in the summer of 2011.
In his first season, he took the Bluebirds to the Capital One Cup Final and the Championship Play-Offs. The following season, in 2013, he led them to the title and promotion to the top flight of English football for the first time in 52 years - earning himself in the process the Manager of The Year Award from the League Managers Association. He was replaced at the Cardiff City Stadium by Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, in January 2014.
Mackay has not managed a game at the DW Stadium before, but has played there for both Norwich City and Watford. Norwich drew 1-1 in the Championship in October 2003, while Watford were defeated 3-0 after extra time in the Carling Cup in 2005 (part of the run to the final) before drawing 1-1 in the Barclays Premiership in September 2006.
Three members of the current squad have played under him, Don Cowie, Andrew Taylor and Leon Barnett.