Mackay tells players to prove themselves

Wigan manager Malky Mackay
Wigan manager Malky Mackay

MALKY Mackay spared only three of his players from blame after Wigan Athletic crashed 3-0 at Nottingham Forest last night.

Latics’ plight in the Championship became even more precarious after a woeful display against a Forest side without a home win in three months.

Britt Assombalonga opened the scoring just after the half-hour mark, and Latics were put out of their misery after the break when Chris Burke and Henri Lansbury added further goals.

“I’m obviously disappointed with the result,” acknowledged Mackay, who has seen Latics win only one of their 14 matches under his reign.

“We lost a poor first goal, and after that we had too many players below par.

“Probably only three players had pass marks, the rest were below par. And you certainly can’t give any team in this division a start like that.

“Things had been promising in the last couple of weeks, with the new group, until this.”

Mackay remains adamant Latics can avoid the drop, despite being eight points adrift of safety with only 16 matches remaining. But he called on the players in the dressing room to prove they are up for a real relegation dogfight.

“Players have to take responsibility,” he recognised. “You take responsibility every time you cross that line and it is up to yourself to be the person that makes the difference.

“We didn’t have enough of that tonight -–players making a difference. They are working hard enough, but there wasn’t enough quality and responsibility from us.

“You earn the jersey on performances and you lose the jersey after performances – and the players know that.

“The next game gives the players a chance to redeem themselves. The players are honest, they absolutely see when they don’t play and they don’t perform. We take responsibility as a team, but we have to be better than that.”