Sheffield Wednesday: Under-achieving Latics seek Hillsborough tonic

Wigan Athletic manager Malky Mackay on the touchline during the Sky Bet Championship match at the DW Stadium, Wigan.
Wigan Athletic manager Malky Mackay on the touchline during the Sky Bet Championship match at the DW Stadium, Wigan.
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One of the Championship’s biggest underachievers head to Hillsborough tomorrow seeking to kick-start their faltering campaign.

Wigan Athletic finished fifth last season, losing to Queens Park Rangers in the Play-Off semi-finals, and reached the last four of the FA Cup. Many people in the football fraternity expected the Latics to be involved in the promotion shake-up this time around.

But Wigan have under-performed, winning just three out of their 18 league fixtures, prompting chairman Dave Whelan to sack manager Uwe Rosler on November 13.

Less than a week later, Malky Mackay was named Rosler’s successor, despite still being investigated by the Football Association after claims he sent texts of a homophobic, racist and sexist nature while at Cardiff.

“I made a mistake,” said Mackay, who led Cardiff to the Championship title. “I now know that public or private it doesn’t matter.

“I shouldn’t have done it, I made a mistake and I’m moving forward. I’m taking steps to learn from it.

“I’ve got full respect for the FA and what they decide to do going forward. Whatever they decide to do they’re going to do and I respect that.And when it comes to the time when we talk then we do that, and I’m a big man who stands up and takes what comes from that.

“I made mistakes, but I’m absolutely not racist. I have taken on an educational programme in terms of diversity, and that will be ongoing. I will continue to learn and educate myself going forward.”

Mackay was given a mixed reception as Wigan drew 1-1 at home to promotion hopefuls Middlesbrough in his first match in charge last weekend, meaning they remain one point shy of safety.

Things have not been much better off the field as owner Whelan was recently forced to apologise for comments he made about Jewish and Chinese people to a national newspaper while defending Mackay’s appointment. He has been charged by the Football Association over comments and has until 6pm on December 5 to respond to their charge.