Boss reflects on crucial away victory over Reading at the Madejski Stadium.
- Malky pleased with a "real battling performance."
- Praise for debutants Harry Maguire and Jason Pearce.
- Three points for fans who travelled and followed back home.
Latics manager Malky Mackay cut a proud figure after his players produced a display of hard work and endeavour to secure a valuable away three points against Reading at the Madejski Stadium on Tuesday evening.
Jason Pearce’s goal, on his Wigan Athletic debut, secured a 1-0 victory for Mackay’s side and the Scot was delighted with his side’s efforts.
“It was a real battling performance and we deservedly won the game,” Mackay said. “I thought we came here and handled Reading in a good fashion because they’re a good team and they’ve got a lot of experienced players.
“At the end, they threw Pavel Pogrebnyak and Yakubu up top and had five or six forays up the pitch and I thought we withstood it well as Ali Al Habsi didn’t have that much to do towards the end and we probably should have killed it off at the other end.
“I’m delighted with the performance overall and it’s what I’ve seen from this new group, barring the Nottingham Forest game, over the last four weeks.”
Mackay reserved special praise for his front pairing of Marc-Antoine Fortuné and Leon Clarke whilst he was delighted to see Harry Maguire and Pearce combine well in defence on their first outing as a pair.
“I thought Harry and Jason were terrific; they both looked like proper defenders and we really wanted to make sure that they attacked everything and they did that,” he added. “The longer they play together the better it will be but I’ve got two young players that both want to play and desperately do well.
“Jason has been desperate to get involved over the last four weeks and obviously with Liam going back then that was the plan to get him back in and then Harry is someone with lots of potential who Steve Bruce did me a favour by letting me have him for a month because he knew we would look after him, I know we’ve got a good player.
“I’m delighted Jason has started in the fashion he has because he’s a natural leader, a real tough performer and he’s been terrific.
“I thought both the lads up front led the line really well tonight with Marco dropping into the hole causing problems and Leon never stopped running all night and the two looked well together and linked up to be a tough partnership to play against.”
Mackay praised the 200 supporters who made the trip from Wigan to the Madejski and also those who watched back at the DW Stadium as he spoke of his desire to steer Latics onto better things.
“You can only do as much as you can and sometimes that pays off and I think the win tonight invigorates them again and brings us closer to the pack,” Mackay continued.
“I’m wanting to do so well for this football club, for the fans. Mr. Whelan asked me to come here and I really want to do well. The 200 hearty souls who came to the game and the people who turned up to the DW to watch it, the three points are for them.
“It’s about building momentum because there have been plenty of home performances this season where draws should have wins and we’ll get back to the DW full of confidence.”