Malky previews the local derby in the FA Cup.
- Waghorn and Cowie could return as McManaman begins suspension.
- High standards to keep as Mackay hopes FA Cup magic can continue.
- Younger players to be given squad experience.
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It’s the second local derby of the season for Latics and Bolton Wanderers as Malky Mackay takes his side, and over 2,500 supporters, to the Macron Stadium for the FA Cup Third Round this Saturday 3 January.
With Latics suffering a 3-1 defeat at the hands of Bolton back in November, Mackay said he knows full well how much the fixture means to supporters, as well as how the magic of the cup is expected to be maintained.
“To pull out our local rivals in the FA Cup third round is quite special for the fans,” Mackay told Latics Player.
“We go over there refreshed from the last time the two clubs met in the league and we’re looking forward to a big game.
“I absolutely understand what this game means to our fans after what happened before I joined the club and we always want to have the bragging rights.”
On the cup itself he continued:
“We’re going to do everything we can to keep that magic alive for our supporters, the recent history in the competition speaks for itself and we’ve got high standards to maintain.
“We’re taking a good following, and our fans of course know full well the magic that the FA Cup can bring, that makes us look forward to it even more so.
“We want to make sure we’re in the hat for the next round and there’s no question about that, we’re going to Bolton and taking this game very seriously.”
On the selection front, Latics will be without Callum McManaman due to suspension, as well as Grant Holt who will be out for nine months with serious knee injury. Mackay continued:
“I wanted to involve Grant Holt, but we got that devastating blow earlier in the week. He’s a good experienced professional who would have brought a lot to this game and to the squad for the rest of the season, so naturally that is disappointing for us.
“We’re going to take a couple of our younger players with us to give them a little bit of experience round about the squad, but we’ll be going with as strong a squad as we can.
“Martyn Waghorn should also make the squad which is really good because he’s not been available to me since I’ve been at the club.
“Getting Martyn back involved will be very good, and maybe Don Cowie too, who suffered from some tightness in his groin after the Leeds United game.
“Of course we have lost Callum for the next three games through suspension and we let Roger Espinoza go earlier in the week as well.”
“Gradually there will be a reshaping of the squad and there will be some players leaving over time because of their situations and the time running on their contracts.
“We will also continue to keep looking at bringing players into the squad who will benefit the team.
“For the time being we’ve got a good group here who are trying hard at the moment, but they’ve got to keep demanding of themselves and they’ve got to make correct decisions.”
A cash turnstile will operate for this fixture at the Macron Stadium for seats in the Upper Tier, priced at just £15 for adults and £5 for Over 65s/Under 23s. For additional information please [click here].