Injury woes add to Mackay’s nightmare

New-boy Liam Ridgewell
New-boy Liam Ridgewell

MALKY Mackay is sweating over the fitness of FOUR of his first-teamers as he reflects on another bad day at the Wigan Athletic manager’s office.

Latics crashed to another defeat at the weekend, 3-1 at Birmingham, that saw the gap between themselves and safety in the Championship extend to five points.

Striker Clayton Donaldson did all the damage for City with a sparkling hat-trick, which rendered James McClean’s superb strike just before half-time meaningless.

McClean was one of a quartet of Latics players who limped away from St Andrew’s with Don Cowie, new-boy Liam Ridgewell and Ivan Ramis being forced off the field.

All of which means Mackay has plenty of food for thought as he plots a way out of the relegation mire.

“Liam had a tightness in his calf at half-time and I didn’t want to chance it with him only being here for six weeks,” Mackay told the Evening Post.

“Don took a kick in the first half and it began to affect his calf so we got him off.

“Ivan twisted his ankle when the third goal went in and he had to come off.

“It meant that when James took a heavy knock later on for the last 15 minutes he wasn’t able to give us what he had been giving us.

“I thought up until that point he’d been terrific and causing them real problems, but we ended up playing virtually with 10 men.

“It was unfortunate, but it just sums up the way it’s going at the moment.

“It’s something I’ll be working very hard to rectify - make no mistake about that.”

The events of Saturday may force Mackay’s hand in terms of January transfer dealings, with Latics in desperate need of new blood to bolster a squad that currently looks short of both confidence and quality.

“We certainly do need to freshen the squad up, that’s undoubted and we’ll be trying to do that as January progresses,” the Latics chief added.

“We’re talking to various clubs and various clubs are talking to me, and there’s a lot of clubs in the same boat right now. It’ll be an ongoing process over the next few weeks.”