Malky Mackay previews Latics' clash with Blackburn Rovers.
- Cowie and Ramis to miss Blackburn through injury.
- Ridgewell and McClean recover from knocks.
- Huws and Waghorn making positive impacts on squad.
“They carry a real goal threat with Jordan Rhodes and Rudy Gestede, someone I know from my time at Cardiff City, and there’s no doubt that they’ll be tough to play against.
“It’s up to us to come up with a strategy to limit that danger and create danger of our own to impose ourselves on the game.
“It’s a Lancashire derby and so from a motivational point of view it’s an added incentive for the players. They know what is required both physically and mentally.
“We’ve focused on nothing else, blocked out everything and worked extremely hard to make sure the players keep their heads clear and remain concentrated on the job at hand.”
MALKY ON INJURIES
“We had a few injuries against Birmingham City, but Liam Ridgewell has recovered from his knock, Don Cowie hasn’t and he’ll be out for another week or so.
“Ivan Ramis took a bad knock to his ankle and will be out for a month at least. We took a bit of a hit on Saturday in that regard, but that’s the way it is sometimes.
“James McClean is fine. He also took a heavy knock, but he’s trained all week and he’s okay to be involved against Blackburn.”
MALKY ON McCLEAN AND WAGHORN
“We’ve got Emyr Huws back involved in the squad, and Martyn Waghorn is stepping up even further. That’s two good pieces of news for us.
“James and Martyn linked up really well in the second half at Birmingham.
“They looked like they were starting to combine well together, and we were in the ascendancy during that period.
“It was good to bring Martyn in as a fresh face back into the squad, he’s brought with him experience of playing at this level and he’ll absolutely be involved again at the weekend.”
MALKY ON JAMES TAVERNIER
“James’ loan to Bristol City is because we feel he needs to be playing more games.
“He’ll come back in the summer and hopefully he’ll have played 15 to 20 games for a team that are going well in League One.
“I feel that this is for his long term benefit, he needs regular football and he’ll come back here in the summer ready to go again for us with a bit more experience. It’s purely an experience thing.”
MALKY ON INCOMINGS
“We need to be looking at bringing in players who are going to challenge those who are already here. First and foremost anybody we bring in has to have the right character and be willing to work hard for the club.
“When we bring in players, it’s either because we can see their potential and they’ll have a long future here, or they’re already established and they can push the current players. We’ve got to make sure we can get the best quality possible, that’s ongoing and there are plenty of clubs in the same situation at the moment.
“We’re one of many clubs looking for players who are capable of those things, but it’s always a process that we’ve got to work hard on and sometimes be patient with.”