Having sacked Uwe Rosler following a disappointing 3-1 defeat at fellow strugglers Bolton Wanderers, Wigan Athletic knew that they had to make the right call if they were to avert the possibility of relegation from the Championship. Off-the-field, questions remain about whether or not appointing Malky Mackay, who courted controversy after allegedly sending sexist, racist and homophobic text messages, was the right decision. On the field, however, the Latics hard earned point at the weekend against Middlesbrough – a team highly fancied for success by Blue Square – would suggest that the Scot could be the right call.
Mackay has extensive experience at Championship level having taken Cardiff City up from the division in to the Premier League two seasons ago and his golden touch seemed still to be in evidence when Shaun Maloney opened the scoring with a free kick. Having opted to make several changes to the side most recently put out by Rosler, Wigan looked more comfortable going forward and the likes of midfielder Chris McCann, who returned to the side after injury, created chances that could have won the game for the home side. As it was, the home fans at the DW were forced to settle for a point when Patrick Bamford equalised.
Light at the End of the Tunnel
Still with only one league win since August, Wigan’s position remains precarious and they need to convert more of their chances, but there are real positive signs for their fans. Taking a point from Middlesbrough, who are now unbeaten in five and are up in third place in the table, will give Mackay’s men real confidence. Next up for the Latics are Sheffield Wednesday, whose mean defence will take some real breaking down but, now just three points off Leeds United in 16th place, Wigan will be able to see light at the end of the tunnel and know just how much a vital win would be worth.