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CITY v WIGAN: OPPOSITION VIEW

2 March 2015

Essential reading on Wednesday night's opponents

WIGAN ATHLETIC

Nickname: Latics
Manager: Malky Mackay
2013/14: 5th
Ground: DW Stadium
Fastest road route from Carrow Road: 248 miles (4 hours 11 minutes)

THE LOWDOWN
Wigan came out on top in their crucial relegation head-to-head with Blackpool on Saturday, winning 3-1 at Bloomfield Road.

Goals from Kim Bo-Kyung, Harry Maguire and James McClean gave Malky Mackay’s men their second away win in a row, but they remain still nine points from safety.

After finishing fifth last year, the Latics were expected to mount a promotion push but have struggled for any kind of form, especially at home, and they have won just six matches all season.


“In a nutshell, there was a hangover from the disappointment of falling in the play-offs and FA Cup semi-finals last season,” says Wigan Evening Post reporter Paul Kendrick.

“There was the massive losses of Jordi Gomez and James McArthur, poor off-season recruitment, too many players under-performing this term and then, in January, the upheaval of virtually a whole team going out and a new team coming in.”

Wigan have only played Norwich City ten times, with the Canaries winning half of those matches, including the reverse fixture 1-0 at the beginning of December.

They have two former City players in their squad: Leon Barnett (2011-13), who has played 20 times this season, and Grant Holt (2009-13), although the striker is currently out with a long-term knee injury.
 



THE BOSS

Former Canaries defender Malky Mackay was appointed as Wigan Athletic manager in November.

The ex-Watford and Cardiff City boss replaced Uwe Rosler but has struggled to force an upturn in results at the DW Stadium.

“When Malky arrived in November the club was still hopeful of mounting a play-off push so clearly things have not gone according to plan for a number of reasons,” added Kendrick.

“There has been so much upheaval both on and off the pitch that it's made his job tremendously difficult. Survival at the end of the campaign would represent a major achievement.”


Mackay made 232 appearances for Norwich City between 1998 and 2004, captaining the Club and memorably scoring twice in the East Anglian derby against Ipswich Town in March 2004, the year City claimed the Division One title.

The Bellshill-born centre-back had other playing spells at Queens Park, Celtic, West Ham United and Watford, and it was with the Hornets that he began his coaching career.

Mackay replaced Brendan Rodgers as Watford manager in 2009, guiding them to two respectable mid-table finishes in the Championship before leaving for Cardiff City in the summer of 2011.

His stint in south Wales was a successful one as he led them to the Capital One Cup final in 2012 and the Premier League in 2013, but he was ultimately sacked in December 2013 with the Bluebirds hovering close to the relegation zone in the top flight.

THE SQUAD
Goalkeepers: Scott Carson, Lee Nicholls, Ali Al Habsi.

Defenders: Andrew Taylor, Harry Maguire, Gary Caldwell (c), Thomas Rogne, Emmerson Boyce, Gaetan Bong, Aaron Taylor-Sinclair, Juan Carlos Garcia, James Perch, Leon Barnett, Jason Pearce.

Midfielders: Chris McCann, James McClean, Emyr Huws, Jermaine Pennant, Bo-Kyung Kim, Sheyi Ojo, Don Cowie, William Kvist.

Forwards: Billy McKay, Leon Clarke, Marc Antoine-Fortune, Martyn Waghorn, Grant Holt.

NEXT AT CARROW ROAD
Wigan, Wednesday March 4, 7.45pm

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