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Match Previews


6 March 2015

Boss looks ahead to clash with Leeds United as Mr. Whelan pulls the curtain down on 20 years as Latics Chairman.

  • Mackay hopes for special day as Mr. Whelan is set to address crowd prior to kick-off.
  • “We’re looking forward to Saturday’s game” – Mackay.
  • William Kvist and Leon Barnett back in the squad.

On Mr. Whelan…

It should be a special day; it’s goodbye as Chairman but not goodbye to Mr. Whelan because he’s absolutely going to be around the club.

Whether that be down at the training ground or at matches when he’s in the country.

I hope there’s a terrific tribute; he’s an incredible man, I’ve not known him a long time but, in that time, I’ve got to know him fairly well in terms of the values of the man, the man who has impacted Wigan as a town over a long period of time.

He’s brought success to the area in multiple different ventures and has been a huge benefit to the people of Wigan. You only have to look at Wigan Youth Zone, I was down there the other day and his work there is quite something, for seven or eight thousand youngsters are now able to go and use those facilities on the back of his foresight, finances and drive along with a couple of other important people who have made that into something else.

The obvious contribution is the football club which has been taken from a Division Four team to FA Cup and Mr. Whelan’s stamp is all over that.

On new Chairman David Sharpe…

It’s changing times and David Sharpe comes in as the new chairman but Mr. Whelan is someone that will always hold a special place in the hearts of Wigan Athletic fans, and should do.

I think the real upside of the change of chairman for me is that David is someone that, from day one when I was interview to every day since at the training ground, has been here.

He’s been around the football club since he was young, he’s passionate about football, he’s passionate about making the football club better, he’s passionate about recruiting the best players we can and having the right structure for recruitment that we can and also making us proud of our academy by improving that to the next level.

It’s music to my ears to have someone like David around the football club; he’s still going to have his grandfather there to lean on when he needs him as a mentor but at the same time he’s also got Jonathan Jackson, Matt Jackson and then I’ll obviously also work closely with him.

It’s a transition at the football club, but it’s a good transition of a family keeping this club going with the same values, with a new young man in charge who is going to put his own stamp on the club and keep it moving forward.

On receiving LMA’s LG Performance of the Week Award…

We’re very thankful to the LMA and to LG for giving us the Performance of the Week but it was a terrific evening in terms of the way the boys played, it was great that our fans made the long journey down to Norwich, it’s a long way! 

We were delighted they got to see a win and a goal; it was a good night, there were 26,000 in Carrow Road on a nice pitch, under the lights, against what was probably the best squad in the division. So for us to put in a performance like that, I was very pleased with the lads.

On Leeds United…

We went over to Leeds earlier in the season and we had a good victory in front of a very vociferous crowd, it’ll be the same here; they’ll bring a large crowd with them, Middlesbrough was the same, and it makes for a good atmosphere and we’re certainly looking forward to Saturday’s game.

On Team News...

William Kvist has beaten off an injury and will be back again, Leon Barnett is back too and Chris McCann and Don Cowie were both involved again on Wednesday night too.

On fans’ support…

Our fans have been terrific; they’ve stuck by the team and been real supporters.

I really just urge them to keep going and keep supporting; the players, the staff and myself are trying their hardest for you to make sure we stay in this division and we win every game between now and the end of the season.

It’s a pretty new squad that’s been coming together over the last six or seven weeks so, if you haven’t been, come back and see these players, they’re giving blood, sweat and toil to make sure we get as many performances and wins as we can for the club.

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