MALKY Mackay admits Shaun Maloney’s unavailability is ‘out of our control’ amid growing fears the Latics star may miss Saturday’s trip to Watford.
Maloney was the stand-out man in Mackay’s first outing as Latics boss, scoring a brilliant goal in the 1-1 draw against high-flying Middlesbrough last month.
He then missed the 2-1 loss at Sheffield Wednesday through illness and, although returning to the side for Saturday’s clash with Norwich, the 31-year-old was substituted only two minutes into the second half after being sick.
And the situation hasn’t improved, with Maloney unable to train yesterday with the rest of the squad.
“It’s taking Shaun time to fully get over this bug,” Mackay told the Evening Post.
“We had him in Tuesday morning to see the doc, and it’s just a matter of time to let it run through his system.
“He seemed to be a lot better at the end of last week, and had no problems about starting the game against Norwich.
“But at half-time he wasn’t feeling well, and we have to be careful with him. It’s out of our control.”
Meanwhile, Mackay is licking his lips at the prospect of facing local rivals Bolton in the third round of the FA Cup.
Although Latics continue to struggle in the Championship, Mackay reckons a good cup run could help kickstart the league form.
“The FA Cup is something I respect greatly, and we’ll be focusing on nothing other than Bolton when the time comes,” he added.
“There won’t be any question of a shadow team going out that day.
“The FA Cup is an historic competition – and I certainly don’t need to tell anyone in these parts of its importance.
“It’s a competition I was always proud to play in, and it’s the same as a manager.
“The furthest I got was to the semi-finals during my time at Watford. That was a terrific experience, and obviously for Wigan Athletic to have gone all the way was even better.”
Latics yesterday advanced into the last four of the Lancashire FA Youth Cup with a 4-1 demolition of Preston.