Rangers will face Mac-lash

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JAMES McCarthy has promised Wigan Athletic will ‘have a right good go’ at retaining their Premier League status – starting this weekend at QPR.

Latics remain rooted to the foot of the division after Monday night’s 1-0 home defeat to Manchester City, but know a victory at Loftus Road can take them out of the bottom three.

The performance – if not the result – against City means Latics should travel south with plenty of confidence despite their present precarious predicament. And McCarthy, who came closest to finding an equaliser against City only to be denied by England goalkeeper Joe Hart, says Latics should take heart from the way they recovered from a below-par opening half to push the table-toppers all the way.

“We finished the game strongly, but we just couldn’t find that final ball to test the keeper and score an equaliser,” McCarthy admitted.

“We had to find a reaction because before the break we weren’t ourselves – we were giving the ball away and struggling to find any rhythm.

“Having got ourselves back in the game, it was frustrating not to be able to get some reward in terms of points on the board as well.

“But we were straight back into it at training yesterday, and we need to have a right good go at these final 17 games.

“There’s no looking down now, only up – and we’ll go into every game confident of getting the points we need with the help of our fans behind us.”

Boss Roberto Martinez is also confident Latics can arrest their losing sequence in West London, and pinpointed the return to form of Hugo Rodallega as a major reason for optimism.

The Colombian was well-shackled by the City defence on Monday, but his all-round game is on a different planet to his poor form during the first half of the season.

Martinez confirmed there have still been no bids for Rodallega, who is out of contract at the end of the season, and believes the striker can lead Latics to safety before making a decision on his future this summer.

“Hugo looks refreshed at the moment,” said the Wigan manager.

“He had a really tough start to the season because he did not have a proper break. Then he had a little bit of an injury and we missed him for a little bit.

“It is only in the last three weeks that he has been himself and enjoying his football.

“At his best, he is a big asset for this club. He is capable of opening things for us. We are really pleased with the level he has shown in the last three games.”