Wigan Athletic boss not satisfied despite impressive start

Shaun Maloney is adamant no-one at Wigan Athletic will be getting carried away by the flying start to his reign.

Latics have picked up four points from their first two games under Maloney's stewardship, with an opening-day draw at Blackburn being followed by Saturday's massive win over Huddersfield.

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That's seen Latics move off the foot of the Championship table, and behind fourth-bottom Cardiff only on goal difference, heading into Wednesday's trip to in-form Bristol City.

Shaun Maloney takes his Latics side down to Bristol City on  Wednesday nightShaun Maloney takes his Latics side down to Bristol City on  Wednesday night
Shaun Maloney takes his Latics side down to Bristol City on Wednesday night
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But the manager is in no danger of getting carried away by the excitement generated over the last week or so.

"As soon as we came back to work on Monday, there were a lot of things we needed to keep improving on," Maloney said.

"We can't think just because we've won one game that we're okay, because it's not.

"I think it's important we showed them the good things they did, but we also have to start from neutral for the next game.

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"Bristol City will be scrapping for the points for their own end, and we have to make sure we fight harder and fight harder.

"I also want us to be more efficient and more dangerous in that final third."

It's been a hectic start to Maloney's time in charge, but he wouldn't have it any other way.

"I love the intensity, I love the games coming thick and fast, I love competing," the Latics boss said.

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"That's the whole point of football, I really want to see my team play, and let's go and meet the challenge.

"We just have to start from the base of being very difficult to play against.

"Then let's bring in even more confidence on the ball.

"I hope we make it extremely difficult for Bristol City, and we'll have to if we want to give ourselves the best chance of getting something from the game.

"We have to make it a very important night for them.

"But the bottom of the league is close right now, and I don't think any team can expect an easy game no matter the opposition."

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Maloney has been largely happy with what he's seen so far - but admits the huge improvement at the back now needs to be matched in the final third.

"It's about finding that balance between playing and fighting," he added.

"I want to create an enjoyable environment, but it's also my job to push the players to the point where we become extremely difficult to beat.

"I know I keep repeating the same things, but it's true, and the team needs to understand that.

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"It's my job to take as much pressure off the players as possible but, at the right time, push them as hard as I can.

"It's all about the balance, and out of possession I have been pleased with what I've seen.

"And I've also been impressed with us in possession - to a point.

"But it's about that last touch, that last pass, being more confident, being more aggressive, being brave enough to play that last pass.

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"If it doesn't work, we go again, but we can't take a step back from that."