Malky Mackay gives his Latics v Huddersfield Town preview.
- Malky looking forward to game against old friend’s Huddersfield.
- Watson and Maloney moves explained.
- “Good to see players fighting hard for the jersey.” – Mackay.
“It’s going to be a tough game. Chris Powell is a good friend of mine, we were roommates at Watford and West Ham United so I know him really well and I’m looking to catching up with him.
“I know he’ll bring a very tough team here, they’ll be uncompromising and they’ll work hard, which is something we’ve got to match and go beyond.
“We’ve got to go out and give Huddersfield a tough time, I think we can do that based on what I saw in the game against Blackburn last week.
“We’ll look to take the performance level from last week into the game. I’m really looking forward to it and hopefully we can create an atmosphere like the one in the second half against Blackburn for our fans to enjoy.”
MALKY ON TEAM NEWS
“William Kvist came back in last week and did very, very well. We’ve also got Emyr Huws coming back to full fitness now, if people come in and do well then they stay in.
“Ali Al Habsi is back from the Asian Cup now having played for Oman, he’ll be straight back involved in the squad and deservedly so, because his performance against Bolton Wanderers in the FA Cup was outstanding.
“Ali is a great guy, his attitude about the training ground and in day-to-day life is infectious. He comes in with a smile on his face and spends the whole day working hard and in a positive mood, he’s a player I like a lot.
“Now he’s back with us he’s been working hard alongside Scott Carson, and they’ve been pushing each other in training. We’ve got great competition in that respect and they will keep working hard to claim the jersey.”
MALKY ON SHAUN MALONEY AND BEN WATSON
“The possibility of Shaun Maloney leaving has been going on for two or three weeks now, Leicester City came in for him, but he’s decided to go to America.
“Shaun wants to go and try something new in his life, he’s got the opportunity to go and do that in Chicago. They came to us with an offer that has allowed him to join them now rather than at the end of the season.
“I wish Shaun the very best of luck because he’s a terrific boy and he’s done very well for the club over a period of years, but his time has finished, he moves on and we have to move on as well.
“As far as Ben is concerned, he completed his move to Watford today. He too only had six months left on his contract.
“Ben wanted to move his career on to something new so we agreed to let that happen for him. I’ve got a lot of respect for him despite only meeting him eight weeks ago.”
MALKY ON ‘FIGHTING FOR THE JERSEY’
“Players are fighting for their shirts here, I’ve mentioned it before that if a player who hasn’t been playing shows me they're ready then they’ll get a chance.
“What I need to do now is keep bringing players in to freshen up the football club, but they have to want to play for this club and they have to be hungry, dedicated professionals who are willing to keep pushing each other.
“The squad has to come down to 22 players who really want to push each other for the jersey so that at any point any one of them is ready to step in and give the right level of consistency.
“That’s something we’ll work towards; it’s something we’ve got a fair amount of work to do to get to and there will be a big change over.
“We’ve got 10 players out of contract at the end of the season, but I want people committed to the jersey and committed to Wigan Athletic going forward. That will take two or three transfer windows to do, but there’s firm focus here of just where we want to go.”