Shaun Maloney ‘super proud’ of Wigan players after ‘difficult 48 hours’



Posted Sunday, March 12, 2023 by PA

Shaun Maloney ‘super proud’ of Wigan players after ‘difficult 48 hours’

Wigan manager Shaun Maloney admitted the club’s failure to pay players’ wages on time had a negative impact on preparations before the 3-0 defeat to runaway leaders Burnley at Turf Moor.

Two goals from Nathan Tella and a first for the club from Lyle Foster ensured victory for the Clarets, who moved 13 points clear at the top after Sheffield United’s home defeat to Luton.

Wigan remain bottom on goal difference and could be deducted three points by the EFL following the fourth time they have failed to pay wages on time.

On the pitch their cause was not helped by having to play the last hour of the game with 10 men after central defender Omar Rekik – on loan from Arsenal – was sent off by referee John Busby for a second caution, both for fouls on the lively Tella.

Maloney said: “It’s been a really difficult and emotional 48 hours for us. It’s a position none of us felt we would be in or expected to be in.

“Speaking to the chairman it is a liquidity issue. We have to be realistic. Obviously we knew what the sanction would be if it happened again so we will have to wait and see what the EFL say.

“I’ve been trying to build a certain culture within the group and staff since I’ve been here by asking them to work hard and make big improvements in certain areas and in the last 48 hours that culture has taken a knock.

“We have to try and re-build that in the short-term because we face another difficult game against Coventry on Tuesday.

“But I was super proud of the resilience of the players. Once we went down to 10 men, Burnley are a very difficult team to play against. They are just as good out of possession as in possession of the ball. They are a very good side.”

Maloney had “no complaints” about Rekik’s red card, adding: “Once you make a challenge when you are on a yellow then you leave yourself open.”

Burnley now need only 14 more points from their remaining 10 games to be guaranteed automatic promotion.

But boss Vincent Kompany said: “I’m still not counting!

“We played a team with something to fight for. You saw how difficult it was for us against Blackpool last week so I’m happy with the result and everything we did in the game.”

Tella’s double – both headers – took his tally to 16 in all competitions since joining the Clarets on loan from Southampton at the start of the season but Kompany insists he can still get better.

He added: “It is difficult to stand out here because there are so many players who have done well for us this season but he’s definitely showing signs of improving.

“If you look at the Nathan Tella who came through the door at the beginning of the season and look at him now there’s a big improvement.

“He’s slowly getting to the level where he is fulfilling some of his potential but in my view he still has a long way to go. But he is a very exciting player to work with.”

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