Maloney: We blew our chance

Wigan's Shaun Maloney in action in the Carling Cup fixture at Selhurst Park against Crystal Palace
Wigan's Shaun Maloney in action in the Carling Cup fixture at Selhurst Park against Crystal Palace

SHAUN Maloney admits the Carling Cup disaster at Crystal Palace in midweek was a missed opportunity for him and several of his Latics team-mates to give Roberto Martinez a selection nudge.

The ex-Celtic star was one of four debutants in a Wigan side that came unstuck against the Championship outfit.

And Maloney is hoping Martinez will look beyond the result when it comes to assessing who deserves another chance at Everton on Saturday.

“The result was obviously not what we were looking for,” Maloney told the Evening Post.

“We made a few changes but, to be fair, so did Palace so I certainly wouldn’t be looking to use that as an excuse.

“Our first-half performance cost us because, although we started well, they stepped up and we couldn’t respond.

“There was a big improvement in the second half, but it wasn’t enough.

“We know we’ll have to play a lot better when we go to Everton on Saturday.

“They’re all massive games in the Premier League but Saturday is even more so now after Tuesday.

“Everton are around us in the table and these are the games you have to be looking to win if you are to do anything.”

Maloney enjoyed a bright start to his Wigan career, showing some nice touches in the early stages before Palace gained a foothold in the game they never relinquished.

“I thought I did all right, but I don’t think all right is probably going to get me into the team on a regular basis,” he added.

“All right is not what I was looking for – there’s definitely room for improvement and I know that.

“It’s just so disappointing because I obviously had such high hopes coming into the game.

“I need to improve and the team as a whole needs to improve, because we’ll have to if we are to compete in the Premier League.

“It’s a cliche that we can concentrate on the league now, but we don’t really have a choice in the matter.

“We just need to get back to winning ways as soon as possible.”