Billy could still shoot Latics to survival says Mackay

Billy Mckay in action for Latics

Billy Mckay in action for Latics

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BILLY Mckay could yet have a big part to play for Wigan Athletic between now and the end of the season.

That’s the message from boss Malky Mackay, who will be an interested observer tonight as Mckay and Northern Ireland face Scotland in an international friendly.

He’s a good lad, he’s training well, and it’s just about making sure when you do go in you’re ready to make the impact and take your chance

Malky Mackay

Mckay has had a frustrating start to his Latics career since his £150,000 January switch from Inverness Caledonian Thistle.

His six substitute appearances have totalled only 136 minutes, and he’s still waiting for a goal.

“It’s like anyone going into a different league, a different country, it takes time,” said the Latics chief.

“He’s a good lad, he’s training well, and it’s just about making sure when you do go in you’re ready to make the impact and take your chance.

“But it’s about everyone battling to make sure that whoever’s in the team stays in the team. I want that battle for the shirt all over the pitch in every position, and I’m nowhere near that at the moment.”

Latics were given a scare yesterday when James McClean limped out of Ireland training with his left ankle heavily strapped, and was taken for a scan.

Ireland boss Martin O’Neill is hoping the injury is not serious, and he’ll be able to face Poland in a massive Euro 2016 qualifier on Sunday.

“He’s gone for a scan – precautionary, I hope – but he was just feeling it a little bit. We’ll see how he is,” said O’Neill.

Latics missed the chance to wrap up the Final Third Development League title, after their second-string crashed 3-0 at Walsall.