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Match Previews


23 February 2015

Malky talks injuries, Cardiff City, Charlton Athletic and Jermaine Pennant in his match preview.

  • Clarke being assessed on shoulder injury; Kvist out with hamstring complaint.
  • Mackay proud of achievements at former club Cardiff.
  • Jermaine Pennant ‘top class’ upon arrival.
Malky Mackay spoke to Latics Player ahead of the Sky Bet Championship clash with his former club Cardiff City, providing the latest injury updates and team news, as well as talking about the Welsh side, and his new signing Jermaine Pennant.


“He sustained a shoulder blade injury, he’s already had one scan and there’s going to be a second scan today to determine the extent of the injury.

“He’s gone back to Wolves to have that second scan, so we will discuss that with them to decide whether it’s an injury that’s going to require a long period of time or short period of time.

“We’re hoping that it’s something which will only keep Leon out for a few weeks, so that we could keep him here, but we’ll just have to wait and see as far as that’s confirmed.”

Clarke was carried off on a stretcher and wearing a neck brace during Friday’s game against Charlton Athletic, but Mackay confirmed that was only for precaution.

“At one point the jarring into his shoulder blade from the connection with the Charlton player meant that he had a nerve issue and he felt numb in certain areas of his body.

“The minute that happens then they immediately decided a stretcher would be the best option and all of the right precautions were taken.

“For the last couple of days he’s been in a lot of pain.  The medical staff at both clubs are assessing him and we’ll just have to wait and see what the outcome is.

“It’s a big blow to us because he had caused problems for the defenders in games that he’s played in so far for us.

“He started the Charlton game really well, so to lose our focal point so early on was a huge blow and it will be if we don’t have him again.”


“William has been terrific for me.  He and Chris Herd in the centre of midfield have been sensational in the last couple of weeks.

“To lose Chris on Tuesday night the way we did and then to lose William for a few weeks with his hamstring injury is a huge blow.  Losing the two of them and Leon in the space of four days is obviously something which affects the team.

“We’re patching people up right now to be honest, we’re down to the bare bones, but at the same time games come thick and fast and the players will be ready for the task in hand tomorrow night.”


“I had terrific times at Cardiff, and I’m really proud to have been associated with some fantastic staff down there who have worked tirelessly for that football club for many years.

“The people of Cardiff are very passionate people who love their football, their team and their city and the scenes when we won promotion are things I will never forget.

“I’m very proud to have been involved in something that culminated in the success of being promoted to the Premier League.”


“It was a series of blows the other night against Charlton, in terms of how well we played at the start of the game and then having two injuries to two of our senior players in quick succession.

“We got hit on the break for both goals in the first half and that hurt us because we had controlled things, and created a number of chances.

“In the second half we had to go out at them to try and get a goal back, but we ended up getting caught again for their third goal.”

He added:

“I certainly wasn’t looking at a team who lost because of a lack of effort.

“The biggest and best thing we can do now is to get straight back onto the pitch and redeem ourselves.”

With a difficult playing surface expected for Tuesday’s game, Mackay said:

“It’s not in the best condition I’ve ever seen a pitch if I’m being kind.  It’s been cutting up a lot and the rain on Friday night didn’t help.

“The heavy foot fall on it over Friday and Saturday has caused the surface to suffer, but it’s another thing we’re just going to have to get on with and deal with.

“At the end of the game the middle part of the pitch was in horrendous state and the deluge in the second half certainly didn’t help.  We’ve got to be very careful as to where we try and play the ball against Cardiff; there are certain areas of the pitch we’re going to have to be mindful of.”

Mackay continued, by praising the efforts of the groundsmen at the DW during difficult circumstances, adding:

“The grounds staff have worked incredibly hard to get the surface playable for the game, they’ve worked pretty much non-stop since Friday night and they deserve a lot of credit for dealing with what has become a tough pitch to maintain, especially through a very wet period of weather.”


“There’s a light at the end of the tunnel from Friday in that we managed to bring in Jermaine Pennant.

“Jermaine has been with us for a week and his attitude has been top class.  I’ve been really impressed with his character, he’s desperate to just prove people wrong and do well.

“We checked him out fitness wise and we had him involved in various sessions.  He trained with the Under 18s, the Development Squad, the first team, anyone who had a training session on he wanted to be involved.

“He’s undoubtedly talented and at points in his career he’s lost his way slightly, but a very level-headed and charismatic young man walked into this club and worked extremely hard, and for that we feel he’s an excellent addition.”

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