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.”