Mac - We will survive

Wigan Athletic v Blackburn Rovers: James McCarthy celebrates his wonder goal with Ben Watson

Wigan Athletic v Blackburn Rovers: James McCarthy celebrates his wonder goal with Ben Watson

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IN-form James McCarthy believes Latics will ‘have enough’ to survive in the Premier League if they can maintain the performance level that did for Blackburn at the weekend.

The 20-year-old bagged a brilliant brace to help Latics edge a seven-goal thriller against Rovers, and called on his team-mates to take the confidence generated into a testing run of upcoming fixtures, starting at Liverpool on Saturday.

McCarthy told the Evening Post: “The boys were magnificent against Blackburn and we battled so well to get the three points. The important thing now is to take that performance into Liverpool next week – because this is where the run-in starts.

“We’ll go there with a bit of momentum, and we’ll see what happens next week.

“From here on in, every game is a massive game, but hopefully these three points will mean we can start looking up instead of down.

“We’ve proved with the win at Spurs and the draws against Arsenal and Liverpool that we can match the big boys – and hopefully we can do so again.”

McCarthy’s double makes it three in the last two home games since his comeback from ankle ligament damage.

The first came after he followed up a shot from Emmerson Boyce that was parried by Paul Robinson, while his second goal featured a lovely bit of trickery inside the Rovers box.

And he admits goals are an area of his play that he’s made a conscious attempt to improve.

“I want to try and add goals to my game and it was nice to get another two,” the Republic of Ireland ace added.

“But the most important thing was the result, and we did that. Without that, the two goals would have meant nothing. The first one was from a tight angle, and I was wondering if I’d be able to squeeze it in past the post.

“For the second, I’ve gone to shoot and I’ve seen the defender come across, so I knocked it back past him, and I was pleased with the finish.”

Latics remain in the middle of a relegation dogfight, but McCarthy insists a shortage of confidence has never been a problem inside the dressing room.

“The gaffer didn’t panic at half-time, even at 1-1,” he revealed. “He told us to keep working hard and play like we had towards the end of the half.

“It’s been a frustrating season for me personally, watching from the sidelines for three months, but I’m delighted to be back amongst the boys.

“We have a good enough squad here, and I’m sure we have enough to survive.”