Mac aims to shoot down critics

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JAMES McArthur says the desire to prove their critics wrong is underpinning Wigan Athletic’s survival bid.

Latics remain rock bottom of the Premier League with nine matches remaining, but their performance in last weekend’s 1-1 draw with West Brom suggested all is not lost just yet.

With a tough run-in starting at Liverpool this weekend, Latics have it all to do to repeat last season’s ‘Great Escape’.

But McArthur insists the side are more than capable of keeping their head above the water – if they can maintain their standards.

“We just need to keep performing the way we have been doing, keep creating the chances and hopefully next time a few more will go in,” he told the Evening Post.

“We want to move up that table and prove everyone wrong.

“It was exactly the same last year, everyone wrote us off and said we were down, and that wasn’t the case.

“Hopefully this year will be the same.”

McArthur was on target again to put Latics ahead against the Baggies – his third goal in his last seven games.

After almost an hour of banging their heads against the wall, it looked like being the cue for Wigan to go on and clinch a game they had completely dominated.

However, the lead lasted barely 10 minutes before Latics old boy Paul Scharner nodded home the equaliser.

“I think it was probably our best performance of the season in terms of number of chances created – and four out of the last five performances have been very good,” McArthur added.

“We just need to keep battling away, keep fighting for each other, and hopefully we’ll be okay.

“We were unlucky in front of goal, we were just lacking that bit of luck you need.

“We created numerous chances, we finally get that one bit of fortune, and then we concede a silly goal at the other end.”

He also praised his colleagues for refusing to let their heads drop despite seeing chance after chance slip through their fingers in a most frustrating first half.

“We were positive at the break, funnily enough,” he revealed.

“We knew we were playing well, we knew we were getting chances, and the gaffer just wanted us to keep going and do more of the same.

“He tried to push me and James (McCarthy) a bit further forward, because there was so much ball dropping in and around their box, and it worked with the goal.

“I always believed we would score. Even though we had missed so many chances I thought we were good enough to create a few more.

“But once again it was that little bit of composure in front of goal that has eluded us yet again.”