McArthur earns Rosler praise after star show

Wigan scorer James McArthur
Wigan scorer James McArthur
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UWE Rosler saluted James McArthur for his ‘above and beyond’ contribution to Wigan Athletic’s promotion push.

McArthur, who became a father for the first time in midweek when his partner gave birth to a baby girl, put in a man-of-the-match performance to help Latics to a 2-1 victory at Brighton. The Scotland international opened the scoring midway through the first half, and was outstanding in the engine room as Latics closed to within a point of the play-offs with a game in hand.

And it was only after the game that Rosler revealed the extent of his contribution.

“James had a very bad headache at half-time, a big migraine, but he kept on going for the team,” the Wigan boss said.

“I told him: ‘I can’t take you off! You’ll have to get through this.’ Obviously he has a high pain threshold, and he survived - we all survived. James is an example of how much willpower we all showed.”

McArthur, alongside the equally impressive Chris McCann, stepped up to ensure Latics overcame the absence of Ben Watson to keep their play-off hopes alive.

Watson will miss the rest of the campaign after suffering a double leg break against Barnsley last week. Rosler admitted the team now has added motivation for wanting to get straight back up into the Premier League. “This was a big win for us, and it is dedicated to Ben Watson,” Rosler added. “He had his operation on the eve of the game, and the reaction of the players to his injury was first class. They showed will power to get that win and not to get beaten.”

l Several Latics stars will be going head to head when the Euro 16 qualifiers get under way. Yesterday’s draw pitted James McClean’s Ireland in the same group as Scotland, for whom McArthur, Gary Caldwell and Shaun Maloney could all figure.