Max Power on character of Wigan Athletic team-mate James McClean - and hope for his fitness

Max Power hailed the character of James McClean and 'strong' officiating for ensuring Wigan Athletic kept 11 men on the field against Bolton Wanderers at the weekend.

Latics picked up a point against their near-neighbours which took them level on points with League One leaders Rotherham - with a game still in hand.

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McClean had put Latics ahead inside seven minutes, before he was booked for a soft challenge on visiting dangerman Odalapo Afolayan.

James McClean celebrates his early goal against Bolton

The Ireland man was then penalised seconds before half-time for another foul on the same player, which led to the Wanderers players and management baying for a second yellow card.

Referee Samuel Barrott, however, elected to keep his cards in his pocket this time.

McClean, somewhat surprisingly, came back out for the second half, and didn't put a foot wrong despite his next foul almost certainly meaning a second yellow.

Latics were unable to hang on for the win, with Jon Dadi Bodvarsson equalising late on, and McClean’s afternoon ended on a sour note.

He sustained a knee injury in stoppage-time which is currently being assessed.

But team-mate Power was impressed by the way he stuck to his task in the most trying of circumstances – against the backdrop of more unsavoury opposition chanting pertaining to his background and beliefs.

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"To be on a booking in the first half, especially in a derby game, you're always running the risk of something else happening," Power acknowledged.

"And that's credit to the officials for being strong and not getting drawn in.

"I obviously understand why the Bolton players were surrounding the official in that situation.

"And us going down to 10 men would clearly have given them an advantage.

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"I get all that, but Macca has more than enough experience and character to see the game out, and credit to him for that.

"I'm just hoping his injury isn't too bad and we see back on the field as soon as possible."

Latics are also sweating on the fitness of centre-back Curtis Tilt.

The former Rotherham man limped off in stoppage-time moments before McClean sustained his own injury.

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He, too, will be assessed on a possible leg muscle problem.