Perch is a shining light for Mackay

Wigan's James Perch in action against Bolton

Wigan's James Perch in action against Bolton

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MALKY Mackay has hailed James Perch as Wigan Athletic’s ‘Mr Consistency’ in an otherwise disappointing campaign.

The 29-year-old, last year’s Players’ Player of the Season, has continued his fine form into this term, and is the only realistic challenge to James McClean for this campaign’s top individual gong.

I know he’s played at full-back, centre-back and centre midfield, but I just see him as Mr Consistency – not just in terms of the effort he puts in but also the quality he brings

Malky Mackay

Mackay handed Perch the captain’s armband midway through the season, and says his influence has been a shining light at the DW.

“David Kerslake had James at Nottingham Forest, and he was delighted he’d be part of our squad here, knowing what he could bring to the team,” revealed the Latics boss.

“I know he’s played at full-back, centre-back and centre midfield, but I just see him as Mr Consistency – not just in terms of the effort he puts in but also the quality he brings.

“He’s been a massive bonus for me, and someone who has embraced the captaincy.

“Some people don’t, some people shy away from it, they would rather not do it.

“That doesn’t make them any less of a player. It’s just that added responsibility is not something everybody wants.

“I never actually asked him, I just gave it to him because I knew what I’d get from him.”

Perch’s ‘lead-by-example’ approach has been important at a difficult time for Latics, whose squad for the end-of-season run-in bears little or no resemblance to that which kicked off in August.