James: Latics are playing catch-up

Wigan player James McArthur
Wigan player James McArthur

JAMES McArthur feels Latics should be sitting in a European position as the Premier League takes its first international break of the campaign.

Latics have picked up four points from their three matches to put them in ninth spot – only three points behind second-placed Swansea.

An opening-day defeat to European champions Chelsea was followed by a superb victory at newly-promoted Southampton.

And only a late equaliser from Peter Crouch denied them all three points against Stoke at the weekend.

But McArthur feels Latics have only themselves to blame for coming away from two of their three matches with less than they deserved.

“We’ve got four points but we all know it should be at least six, maybe more,” he told the Evening Post.

“It’s okay but we want to be better than okay. We’ve set ourselves some stiff targets here and we want to be winning more games.

“Even against Chelsea we put in a good performance.

“We’ll be looking to take stock during the next fortnight and hopefully come back even stronger.”

Latics led twice against Stoke in their latest outing before settling for a point.

And McArthur admits the feeling of frustration is something that will sour the next few days.

“All the boys are gutted and it’s a shame we have to wait two weeks now for our next game,” he added.

“I think if we’d managed to go two goals clear we would have won the game, but we should still have been good enough to hold on to a one-goal lead.

“We just seemed to stop playing after the first goal, it knocked us back, and we struggled to get going again.”

McArthur has not joined Gary Caldwell and Shaun Maloney in the Scotland squad for the double-header against Serbia and Macedonia because of the back injury that’s hampered his start to the season.

“I need to try and work on my fitness during the international break,” he acknowledged.

“I just felt so tired towards the end of the Stoke match – I had nothing left and I think everyone could see that.

“I was making some daft mistakes that I wasn’t happy with. Hopefully this week will give me a chance to get back to full fitness.”