I'll never forget pain of last trip to Blackpool, admits Wigan Athletic boss

Shaun Maloney returns to Blackpool this weekend admitting he will never forget the memory of his last trip there with Wigan Athletic.
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Latics' 1-0 defeat at Bloomfield Road on April 15 all-but consigned Maloney's men to relegation to League One, after a car-crash campaign on and off the field.

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As it transpired, the three points were not enough to prevent the Seasiders also falling through the Championship trapdoor, with Reading later taking the third spot.

Shaun Maloney is hoping for a more pleasant trip to Blackpool than five months agoShaun Maloney is hoping for a more pleasant trip to Blackpool than five months ago
Shaun Maloney is hoping for a more pleasant trip to Blackpool than five months ago
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And although many of the names in both camps have changed, Maloney still feels the pain from that awful afternoon - which ended with at least one Latic player having heated words with members of the away end.

"It's always a really big game for both teams," said the Latics boss. "We've got a completely different team, they've got lots of new players and a new manager.

"But I still remember the feeling we had after the last Blackpool game.

"We conceded really early but - and this happened too much last year - we just didn't create anything at the other end, for all the possession we had.

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"That defeat really hurt, and you do remember those tough losses....

"This is a completely different game with two completely different teams, but I'll always remember the feeling after that one."

Maloney also believes he went too far in his brutally honest post-match press conference when, by his own admission, he 'was probably a little bit too emotional' in digesting such a damaging defeat - against the backdrop of complete carnage off the field.

"After the game, I was really emotional," he said. "We'd had a brilliant win at Stoke just before but, with everything going on off the field, the message kind of got lost.

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"The message was that there was so much going on off the field that was making it so hard for us on the field.

"Actually, those players on the pitch were giving me everything.

"Certain things, tactically, we might have done differently.

"And I didn't quite get that message across as well as I might have done.

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"I'll never, ever forget what that group of players did for me...they played without being paid, and I never wanted them to feel it was their fault.

"I thought the actual performance at Blackpool was okay, but I was probably a little bit too emotional after the game.

"As far as lessons learned go, I'll probably take a little bit longer between the final whistle and the press conference.

"I always try to be very honest after any game, but maybe I need to leave it a bit longer before speaking.

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"I don't ever want to forget these feelings, though, because they're going to help drive us where we want to get to.”

Latics will once again be backed by a bumper travelling army, with their 2,000 allocation being snapped up in little more than an hour.

"I keep saying to the fans, I can never promise them a victory,” added Maloney.

"But what I want is to have a team that shows on the pitch that desire to win the fight, the desire not to concede, and then the talent the players have will come through.”