Mac can handle flack, says Maloney

Wigan manager Roberto Martinez talks to his team on Sunday

Wigan manager Roberto Martinez talks to his team on Sunday

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SHAUN Maloney says Callum McManaman has the character to handle the fall-out from Sunday’s clash with Newcastle.

McManaman has been headline news since Wigan’s 2-1 victory, after his challenge on Massadio Haidara led to the Toon man being stretchered from the field - and sparked an ugly melee at half-time.

However, referee Mark Halsey failed to even award a free-kick for the incident, and by last night the FA had given no indication it plans to impose a retrospective punishment.

Maloney, along with everyone at Wigan, has every sympathy for the Newcastle player, and wishes him a speedy recovery.

But he hopes the incident will not detract from McManaman’s outstanding contribution before and after the flashpoint.

“Callum showed a lot of character to even make the starting XI, because I know he was struggling in the lead-up,” Maloney told the Evening Post.

“His performance in the first half was absolutely brilliant, and it gave us a massive lift and got us off to a good start.

“The tackle will take the headlines, and that’s a shame.

“You don’t want to see any player being carried off the field with a serious injury, but I know Callum wouldn’t have meant to hurt the player.”