Old team-mate backs Wigan Athletic boss to shine despite 'very difficult cards'

Swansea City boss Russell Martin has backed his old team-mate Shaun Maloney to be a success at Wigan Athletic - despite the 'very difficult cards' he's been dealt during his short reign.
Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now

Martin's Swansea side nudged Latics closer to an instant return to League One with a 2-0 victory at the DW, to leave them eight points adrift of safety with only five matches remaining.

Read More
Wigan Athletic boss takes full responsibility for Swansea City setback

But he remains adamant his former Scotland international colleague is the right man to lead the Latics rebuild.

Swansea boss Russell Martin spoke highly of his former Scotland colleague Shaun Maloney after Monday's gameSwansea boss Russell Martin spoke highly of his former Scotland colleague Shaun Maloney after Monday's game
Swansea boss Russell Martin spoke highly of his former Scotland colleague Shaun Maloney after Monday's game
Hide Ad
Hide Ad

"I think Shaun's going to be a brilliant manager," he said. "I think he's already doing good things here, having been dealt some very difficult cards.

"He's come into the club in such a difficult situation, with the same group of players who found themselves in a very difficult position.

"Then you've also had the points deduction he's had to deal with.

"I can't speak on behalf of Shaun but, looking from outside, I think he's doing a very good job.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

"He's made them very hard to play against, and the performances they've put in, having watched their games, deserved more than they've got.

"And I know at least one manager has said exactly the same thing after they've played against Wigan.

"They caused us a few problems today, they had some good moments in the game.

"And I hope he gets given the time to do what he wants to do.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

"He's a fiercely intelligent guy, he's a really good person...I really enjoyed playing with him on the field and his company off the field.

"He brings so many qualities, and I do believe he's destined for really good things as a manager.

"Hopefully that will be here, because I know it's a club he has a lot of fondness for."

Martin also refused to condemn Latics to relegation despite the cards appearing to be stacked against them.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

"I think if you'd have asked that question about Huddersfield four games ago, the answer would have been a lot different to what it is now," he countered.

"You never say never in this game, and I spoke to one of their players before the game, and he spoke about how brilliant the mood in their dressing room was.

"The mentality they've got, the togetherness they've got, I think that's going to be huge for them."I certainly hope they do, because I respect Shaun a lot, and what he's trying to do.

"I'll have my fingers crossed for him, and we'll see."

Swansea's victory was particularly sweet for goalkeeper Andy Fisher, a former Shevington High School student, and who capped his return 'home' with a breathtaking save to deny Thelo Aasgaard in the closing stages.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

"It was a really brilliant save, and I'm really pleased for him," added Martin.

"I know he had a lot of family and friends here, so I'm made up for him.

"He walked out before the game and said: 'What a place this is', so I know it meant a lot to him."