OWEN Coyle admits he is excited at the prospect of watching Shaun Maloney tear into Championship defences next season.
And the new Latics chief will be doing everything he can to ensure Maloney will be staying to spearhead next season’s promotion push.
Coyle knows all about the quality of Maloney, who swept the board at last year’s Player of the Year awards, from their time north of the border.
And he is keeping his fingers crossed he’ll get the chance to work alongside the Scotland star at the DW next term.
“I’ve know Shaun since he was a kid coming through the ranks at Glasgow Celtic,” Coyle said.
“He’s my type of player – I love watching him, he can create magical moments.
“He is a scorer of goals as well as a creator of goals, and his set-piece delivery is magnificent.
“Away from the football he is a great lad as well, and I can’t wait to work with him.”
Maloney is one of a number of Wigan players who have been linked with moves away from the DW this summer after the hammer blow of relegation.
James McCarthy, Arouna Kone and Callum McManaman are also believed to have suitors waiting to give them another crack at the top flight.
However, Latics are yet to receive a firm bid for any of their players – and are more than content for that to remain the case.
Coyle is hoping the players that remain at the DW will use the disappointment of relegation to inspire them to great things next term.
“We obviously believe in the squad here and we know that they are good players,” he added.
“But I think players have sometimes got to look at the situation, and say: ‘I played my part in the team getting relegated, let me play my part in taking the club back to where we all feel it should be’.
“I would hope we have a host of players like that, and if that’s the case then that’s great for me, absolutely.”
Coyle also laughed off comments attributed to Ireland boss Giovanni Trapattoni, who suggested it would be better for McCarthy’s career for him to remain in the Premier League rather than drop into the Championship.
“At the end of the day, that’s nothing to do with me,” Coyle said. “It’s like me saying to him that James should be playing every game for Ireland.
“He’s got his job to do, and he should let club managers do their jobs as well.”