Wigan Athletic boss hails 'incredible' effort after backs-to-the-wall win at Exeter

Shaun Maloney hailed his 'incredible' Wigan Athletic players after they returned from the international break in style with three precious points at Exeter.
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Martial Godo put the visitors ahead inside 10 minutes after great work down the left by Stephen Humphrys.

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And after withstanding constant pressure for the whole of the second period - with Sam Tickle making three stunning saves and Latics old-boy Yanic Wildschut hitting a post - Jordan Jones secured the points deep into stoppage-time.

Jordan Jones is mobbed after securing Latics' 2-0 victory at ExeterJordan Jones is mobbed after securing Latics' 2-0 victory at Exeter
Jordan Jones is mobbed after securing Latics' 2-0 victory at Exeter
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A sickness bug had ensured the starting XI was even more youthful than usual, meaning it was a massive boost to come away with the three points.

"We challenged the players today, and they were incredible," said Maloney.

"We went really aggressively from the off, with the front three, because we knew how Exeter would play.

"They try to dominate the ball, but I felt if we could win the ball back quickly, on the counter attack we could be a threat.

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"If anything we could have created even more opportunities, but we finally managed to get that second goal through some individual talent.

"In terms of how I saw the game going, I probably didn't see quite as much defending as we did.

"But sometimes you get as much joy out of that - and Carlisle, and Derby - than you do in the big wins.

"It's very satisfying for the coaches to watch, and the whole squad - even the ones who didn't get on - who all celebrated together."

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Josh Stones - in for the suspended Charlie Wyke and the ill Josh Magennis - was outstanding on his full senior debut up top.

Maloney, though, was keen to share out the plaudits across the group.

"There's lots of things Josh can improve on, but I also have to concentrate on what he's very, very good at," said the Latics boss.

"I thought he did terrific today, but I also loved what Josh Magennis gave us when he came on.

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"Josh hasn't trained for a second since he came off ill during the internationals.

"So a big shout out to our captain for what he did for us.

"I love what our young players do for us, but what some of our senior players did for us today, you don't forget things like that."