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Match Previews


17 February 2015

Malky Mackay looks ahead to Reading trip.

  • Latics working hard to pick themselves up after Forest disappointment.
  • Barnett could miss out with injury as McCann continues recovery.
  • Johnson, Flores and Robles to travel to Reading.
Speaking to Latics Player ahead of the Sky Bet Championship clash with Reading at the Madejski Stadium, Latics boss Malky Mackay gave his preview of the game, focusing on; the Royals, Forest reaction, injury news and vital experience for young players.


“I went over to watch the Derby versus Reading game in the FA Cup, but it was spoiled a little bit because of the sending off.

“There were changes to both teams, but it still gave me a good chance to get an even closer look at Reading.

“They’ve brought in a very experienced player in Yakubu, he certainly get the goals, but he’s one of a number of Reading players we’ve got to manage on the night, the same goes for a player like Pavel Pogrebnyak.

“Add Simon Cox to that frontline and there’s a fair bit of experience for Reading.

“It’s going to be a tough game with a good atmosphere and one we’re really looking forward to.”


“The players want to pick themselves up after the disappointment from Nottingham Forest last week.

“That was one of very few games whereby the performance wasn’t at the standard it should be at.  Over the time I’ve been here a lot of our games have been close, but with the Forest game the players know they needed to work harder, they’re desperate to improve from that performance.

“The boys have been working extremely hard, but it was an off night for a lot of people and that’s something the players will own up to.

“There’ll be no knee jerk reaction because the players re-watched the game, picked up on their mistakes during the de-brief and have been working on putting things right in the build up to this fixture.

“We’ll continue to prepare in the same way by looking at how we can control the other team’s strengths and take advantage of their weaknesses.

“We need to be mentally prepared as well, and it’s about instilling confidence into the players that they can go out there and beat teams, whether that’s home or away.”


“We’ve had a couple of issues in terms of small injuries.  Leon Barnett has a problem which will probably see him out of the game.

“That allows for others to have a chance, especially with Liam Ridgewell’s loan ending last week.

“We’ve got the option of bringing in the former captain of Leeds United in Jason Pearce, so we’ve got a more than good enough replacement.  Jason has been working extremely hard since he arrived.  He’s been patient and now is the time for him to step up for us.

“Harry Maguire has also impressed me a lot in training and during a behind closed doors friendly last week, so we’ve got good defensive options to come in.

“Chris McCann will still be out for this one, he’s probably a week or 10 days away after tweaking his hamstring, and obviously Emyr Huws and Grant Holt remain long term absentees.”


“We’ll be taking three young players with us; Joey Johnson, Jordan Flores and Louis Robles.

“All three performed really well in a friendly against Burnley the other day, and I think the three of them have earned the chance to be in or around the squad this week.

“I’ve said it a lot before and it remains the same, bringing younger players through at this club is vitally important.

“It’s a great experience for the lads to train and travel with the first team, because at the end of the day we are preparing them for first team football and I’m confident they are players who are going to make it.”

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