MALKY Mackay is hoping Jermaine Pennant will be followed into the club by a few more new recruits with the brief of keeping Wigan Athletic in the Championship.
Pennant put pen to paper on a short-term deal over the weekend after a successful week on trial at Christopher Park.
He’ll go straight into the squad for tomorrow night’s crunch clash against fellow strugglers Cardiff City that is must-win for Latics.
But Mackay has been left banging his head against a wall as he attempts to land further reinforcements.
“We have been talking to Premier League clubs, but we are finding they are loathe to let their players out at the moment,” he told the Evening Post.
“I have been making phonecalls for weeks and I will continue to do that.
“Myself, Matt Jackson and David Sharpe are making calls every day - yesterday we made six calls to six clubs regarding six players that, for one reason or another, were knocked back.
“I know our fans desperately want success and want us to get better, and we will get better.
“We’re going through a bit of pain right now, and if we can stay together through the pain we will emerge stronger, and the success when it does come will be all the sweeter.
“In life you have to go through bad times to enjoy the good times, and it would be easy to lay down and die.
“This group will not be doing that, and I certainly won’t be doing that.”
Mackay says 32-year-old Pennant has a ‘point to prove’ that will enable him hit the ground running.
“Jermaine’s shown a terrific attitude while he’s been with us,” the Latics chief added.
“He’s been abroad and he’s now back, and he thinks he has something to prove.
“He’s trained really hard, and we’ve given him various fitness tests - running sessions, aerobic sessions and strength and conditioning, medical - and he certainly has a lot of quality about him.
“There were a number of clubs interested, so we are delighted we can now call upon him to help us.”
Mackay is waiting to hear the extent of the worrying shoulder blade injury sustained by Leon Clarke during Friday’s dismal 3-0 home defeat at Charlton.
The striker is having a scan today to find out if the problem will keep him out for the rest of the season
William Kvist will be ruled out for around fortnight after tweaking a hamstring in the same game.