The Shaun ultimatum: We need three wins

Shaun Maloney

Shaun Maloney

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SHAUN Maloney believes Wigan Athletic may have to win three of their last four games to guarantee top-flight survival.

The 2-2 draw with Tottenham gives Latics 32 from their 34 matches played.

They are in 18th spot, five points from safety after Aston Villa thrashed Sunderland 6-1 last night – with a game in hand on all of their relegation rivals.

Wigan’s remaining fixtures see them travel to West Brom and Arsenal as well as entertaining Swansea and Aston Villa on the final day.

And Maloney believes Latics may have to break through the 40-point mark to extend their tenure in the Premier League.

“A point against a side like Spurs is never a bad result, but it kind of felt like a defeat,” Maloney said.

“The vital thing at this time of year is to pick up three points and yet again we didn’t manage to do that.

“We take this feeling into the next game at West Brom now, and it magnifies the importance of that one.

“At the minute it feels like it’s still in our hands, but we might have to win three of the last four games to keep it that way.”

Maloney was once again outstanding as Latics came within touching distance of a third home win on the bounce, only to be denied by a last-gasp own goal.

“When you’re up with so little of the game gone you do start to feel that is going to be your day,” Maloney said.

“And even after it went to 2-2, it was end-to-end stuff and it could have gone either way.”

Latics had recovered from the disappointment of going behind early to a freak goal to lead through Boyce and Callum McManaman’s first Premier League goal.

And Maloney believes the sky is the limit for his young colleague if he continues his remarkable improvement.

“I’m really chuffed for Callum,” added Maloney. “And we’re starting to get to the stage where he can be effective for the whole 90 minutes.

“I’ve told him this but it’s all down to him how far he goes in the game. He is such a talented lad.”