Boss reflects on hard-fought Lancashire derby draw with Blackburn Rovers.
- “We looked as if we could go on and win.” – Mackay.
- Praise for Denmark international William Kvist.
- Fans were terrific and everyone needs to continue to stick together.
Latics manager Malky Mackay felt his side will take momentum from the way they played in the second-half of Saturday’s 1-1 draw with Blackburn Rovers into next week’s clash with Huddersfield Town at the DW Stadium.
The Scot felt his side could have gone on and won a game they initially trailed after Corry Evans gave the visitors a first-half lead but man of the moment James McClean scored his fifth goal of the campaign to earn a point.
“We certainly felt we were in it in the second half,” Mackay said. “We knew in the first-half that there wasn’t a lot in it and it was a great strike from their lad to put it in the corner.
“We had a couple of chances ourselves and Adam Forshaw had a double attempt in the first-half but other than those efforts I didn’t think there was too much between the teams.
“That was the message going out into the second-half and also that we needed to step it up just 10% or so and get more on the front foot and I think that showed.
“We got the goal, we looked as if we could go on and win it and we’ll take momentum from finishing the game as we did, the performance and looking hard to beat. Certainly as the game wore on we were a lot more dominant against a team that is settled as Gary [Bowyer] has had them together for a couple of years now.”
Danish international William Kvist returned as one of four changes for Latics for his first Wigan Athletic start since October’s 0-0 draw with Millwall and Mackay reserved special praise for the experienced midfielder.
“I thought William Kvist was terrific today; I thought he showed great experience, he’s had to bide his time and wait but he’s a top professional and I thought he was very calm,” he added.
“For him to come in having not played for a while shows great professionalism.
“It was great to get Emyr Huws back on as well because I haven’t had the ability to use him since I’ve been here because of injury so terrific to get him back on and I thought he was very calm and composed.
“We’ve had injuries with Ivan Ramis and Don Cowie going off last week and Grant Holt out for a while too so it’s swings and roundabouts with getting the lads back in but certainly it was good that the boys that came in today stepped up to the plate and I thought they were terrific in the second half.”
As always, the manager was proud of the support from the fans with the DW Stadium’s atmosphere really picking up in the second-half.
And he urged the supporters to continue to stick together as a club to help his side continue to register points in the Sky Bet Championship.
“They’re a good team and it was a local derby with a big support from Blackburn so to finish like that I was delighted,” Mackay continued.
“Our fans have been terrific; they’ve been very patient and they’re looking at a team that are trying to do their best for the club – everybody pulling together will certainly help us get more points.”