Wigan Athletic boss on his 'incredible pride' at being associated with his team

Shaun Maloney could not hide his immense pride after his Wigan Athletic side - whose wages are more than a week overdue - showed their character and resilience to rescue a 1-1 draw at high-flying Watford.

The Latics players, to a man, put in a shift to hold the Hornets at Vicarage Road.

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REPORT: Watford 1 Wigan Athletic 1

Watford were very good value for the half-time lead given to them in first-half stoppage-time by Keinan Davis.

Shaun Maloney could not hide his pride while speaking to the media at WatfordShaun Maloney could not hide his pride while speaking to the media at Watford
Shaun Maloney could not hide his pride while speaking to the media at Watford
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But sparked by the interval introduction of Callum Lang, Latics arguably edged the second period, and deservedly levelled through James McClean's header seven minutes after the restart.

Latics remain foot of the Championship table - five points adrift of safety, with a three-point deduction looming for a fourth late payment of wages this season - with only eight matches to go.

Maloney, though, insists anything is possible - especially given the passion and desire shown by his players.

"It was a very important point for us - every point is important given the position we're in," the Latics boss said.

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"But when you put into context what's happened in the last few days, I'm just so incredibly impressed and so incredibly proud to be involved with this team.

"In the first half we were okay, both teams were just okay.

"And I really felt at half-time, that if they really believed how good they could be, we could really have a big impact.

"The substitutes played a big role in that, and I thought we were brilliant in the second half.

"You could see in that last 20 minutes, we should have won that game.

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"The chances we had, the one-v-ones, the counter attacks, we should have been more ruthless and more clinical

"What I want to see more...the only time I get angry is when I see a lack of belief in the players.

"When they have that belief, they can be a good team at this level."

Latics had an early let-off when Joao Pedro rounded Ben Amos only to shoot into the side netting.

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But the visitors also suffered a huge blow when young centre-back Charlie Hughes was forced off the field with what looked to be a leg injury.

Omar Rekik took over at the heart of the defence, and Watford continued to press.

From a Pedro cross, Imran Louza's finish befitted his surname, failing to make Amos make a save from close range.

At the other end, Danel Sinani pulled the trigger from 25 yards, and it was only just wide of the target.

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But Watford had enjoyed the better of the first half, and they took the lead dead on the 45-minute mark after a crazy 60 seconds of play.

Davis had just missed the sitter to end all sitters, sending over a free header over from literally three yards out, when totally unmarked.

But he made amends moments later when he was sent clear through the right channel, cutting back inside before curling a lovely effort past Amos and into the top corner.

Latics made an attacking change at the interval when Lang took over from Steven Caulker.

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And the new man made an immediate impact, crossing from the left for McClean to head home - via the underside of the bar - within six minutes of the restart.

Watford continued to ask questions, though, with Louza's effort from 15 yards forcing a great save from Amos.

Louza then went even closer, curling a left-foot shot towards the far post, only to see it hit the woodwork.

Latics sent on Josh Magennis and Thelo Aasgaard for Will Keane and Christ Tiehi in the final quarter to try to force a crucial winning goal.

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And it almost arrived in the closing stages, when Lang’s shot was saved on the line by Daniel Bachmann.

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