'Massive' test ahead for Wigan Athletic, warns Shaun Maloney

Shaun Maloney is under no illusion as to the size of Wigan Athletic's FA Cup first-round tie at Exeter this weekend.
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Latics prepare to make the long distance south - their second to Exeter in a fortnight - after the midweek defeat at home to Charlton.

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While some may be tempted to think the switch in competition may lead to a more relaxed mindset - possibly with a few team changes - Maloney says that is absolutely not the case.

Shaun Maloney has been working hard on the training ground to have Latics ready for a 'massive' FA Cup tie at Exeter this weekendShaun Maloney has been working hard on the training ground to have Latics ready for a 'massive' FA Cup tie at Exeter this weekend
Shaun Maloney has been working hard on the training ground to have Latics ready for a 'massive' FA Cup tie at Exeter this weekend
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"Exeter is a huge game, a massive game for us," said Maloney, who will once again face ex-Latics, Celtic and Scotland colleague Gary Caldwell in the technical area.

"I spoke about the FA Cup a few weeks ago, we have a massive history with the competition.

"At no point was I ever going to take it lightly, and I don't think we're in a position as a club to take any game lightly.

"I haven't taken the EFL Trophy, and we will go to Exeter looking to win the game, as we would any other.

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"I have to prepare and behave in front of my players as though every game is the biggest game for us.

"If we've got people paying a lot of money and travelling a long way to come and watch us, I have a responsibility of treating every game with the utmost respect and preparing us as best I can."

Maloney admitted he got the team selection wrong in midweek, having made three changes to a side that had won its previous three matches.

While Stephen Humphrys and Martial Godo came off the bench in the second half and almost sparked a dramatic revival, Steven Sessegnon was unavailable through injury.

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And the manager is unclear of how long the former Fulham man will be sidelined with a hamstring twinge.

"There was a doubt over Steven after he came off against Shrewsbury," added the Latics boss.

"That was a late call, and it was a real shame, as he's been in really good form.

"He and Sean Clare have done really well down that right-hand side, and it led to a switch around."