WIGAN Athletic hope to have a new manager in place for Friday’s trip to relegation rivals Fulham after last night calling time on Malky Mackay’s wretched reign.
The Scot parted company with Latics after less than five months in charge, during which time he took just 19 points from a possible 72 on offer, and failed to win a single home game.
The 2-0 defeat to Derby at the DW Stadium was the final straw, with a sizeable section of the home support turning on the manager in the second half.
Latics are now eight points adrift of safety with only five matches remaining, requiring something of a miracle to preserve their Championship status.
They are also seeking their fourth manager since Roberto Martinez jumped ship in the summer of 2013.
Ironically, it was also a home defeat at the hands of Derby that saw Owen Coyle sacked some 16 months ago.
And Uwe Rosler’s final victory as Wigan boss came against the Rams earlier this season.
With Steve McClaren watching on from the visiting dug-out yesterday, it was impossible to wonder what might have been had he not been overlooked for the job of succeeding Martinez.
Last night’s decision certainly came as a shock to Mackay, who had just concluded his regular post-match media commitments.
He had already switched his sights to Friday’s massive six-pointer at Craven Cottage.
“We’ve got Fulham on Friday night and, looking at their points total, that becomes an even bigger game than it was already,” Mackay had said.
“It’s still mathematically possible, and we’ve just got to keep giving it everything we’ve got, which we absolutely will.”
Mackay also admitted he fully understood the frustration of those Wigan fans who vented their anger towards the end.
“Of course I can understand that, of course I can,” he recognised.
“They’ve got every right to be frustrated.
“But they’re frustrated at the end by the fact we’re not putting the ball in the back of the net.
“If we were being well beaten, and not creating chances, it would be different,
“But the fact we are playing well enough and dominating teams, I’m frustrated by that as well.”
Mackay was named Wigan manager by Dave Whelan back in November, despite still being part of a Football Association investigation into claims he sent text messages which were of a homophobic, racist and sexist nature during his time with Cardiff.
The FA banned Whelan for six weeks over those comments and he last month stepped down as chairman, handing the reins to 23-year-old grandson David Sharpe, who has now made the first big decision of his tenure.