Shaun’s ready to rock Pool

Shaun Maloney is expected to play against Blackpool
Shaun Maloney is expected to play against Blackpool
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SHAUN Maloney is aiming to return for Latics against Blackpool tomorrow – and provide the X-Factor they’ve been lacking so far this season.

The Scotland star has endured a frustrating start to the campaign having missed a chunk of the pre-season training with a calf strain.

He came off the bench in each of Wigan’s first two Championship matches, but was forced to miss the midweek defeat at Cardiff after taking ill just before the game. However, Maloney is expected to be back this weekend as Latics aim to get their promotion push up and running at the fourth attempt.

And Rosler recognises the 31-year-old’s return would be just the tonic for a Wigan side doing it tough at the minute.

“Shaun picked up an ear infection and has been on antibiotics this week,” revealed Rosler.

“I wanted him to be available on Tuesday but Shaun said it was very difficult for him to be ready so that is why we left him out.

“It was a shame because, given the way we completely dominated the game at Cardiff, he would have taken up great positions up the field.

“That was always the plan, he’s a big player for us, but unfortunately small issues are affecting us a lot of late.”

Without their talisman, Latics again struggled to create chances at Cardiff, and fell to Nicky Maynard’s solitary goal.

And Rosler acknowledges Wigan need to raise their game in the final third to ensure their good work in other areas doesn’t go to waste.

“We had so many chances in the Cardiff game,” the Latics chief added.

“And I mean chances when we are winning the ball in midfield with our pressing and running forward three against two with an extra man. In modern football, that for me is a chance – and we are not taking advantage of them.

“We had 12 attempts on goal and only one on target, but we had a number of good opportunities, particularly in the second half when James Tavernier came on.

“He put a couple of fantastic balls over the top of their back four but we couldn’t control the ball and run in on the goalkeeper.

“For the spectators that is probably not a chance, but for me as a football coach that is a big opportunity in modern-day football. We have to do better.”