Maloney facing fitness fight

Wigan star Shaun Maloney
Wigan star Shaun Maloney

SHAUN Maloney is fighting to prove his fitness ahead of Saturday’s trip to Fulham.

The former Celtic man had been in impressive form since forcing his way back in to the side last month.

Maloney’s first goal for Latics set the side on their way to an historic win at Liverpool, and he followed it up with the only goal in the memorable win over Manchester United last Wednesday.

A knee injury picked up in training forced him to miss the win at Arsenal on Monday, and has left him, in the words of Roberto Martinez, “very doubtful” for this weekend’s trip to Craven Cottage.

Maloney, meanwhile, insists Wigan’s triumphs over three of the Premier League’s elite will count for nothing if it doesn’t lead to them keeping their place at the top table of English football.

“We’re out of the bottom three, and the main goal now must be to stay out of there,” he said.

“The only thing that matters is staying up at the end of the season, and we’re still in a relegation battle.

“A few teams at the bottom – not just us – are picking up results, and it’s going to be like that because livelihoods are on the line.”

Maloney isn’t the only injury worry ahead of the Fulham game, with Hugo Rodallega hoping to return for the first time since the draw at Norwich last month.

Wigan’s all-time record Premier League goalscorer has been battling a niggling knee injury but is desperate to make his presence felt in the run-in.

The news is less positive concerning Albert Crusat, who has pulled a calf muscle during training and may have played his last football of the campaign.