Wigan Athletic chief warns against danger of 'inconsistency' rearing its ugly head again

Shaun Maloney has outlined the 'challenge' he will be issuing his Wigan Athletic players ahead of this weekend's 'really, really big game’ at Cheltenham.
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Latics make the long trip south for their final league game before the final international break of the campaign.

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With five wins from their six matches since their last international break, Maloney is desperate for his team to keep up their momentum.

Shaun Maloney has warned Latics of the danger of taking Cheltenham lightly this weekendShaun Maloney has warned Latics of the danger of taking Cheltenham lightly this weekend
Shaun Maloney has warned Latics of the danger of taking Cheltenham lightly this weekend

Without their eight-point deduction, their results would be good enough to see them one point and one place off the play-offs.

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Maloney, though, says the only thing that matters is increasing the three-point between themselves and the drop zone.

"We are where we are in the table, those eight points are not going to come back," he said.

"We're three points above the bottom four, and my challenge to the players is can we pick up even more points to take us away from that bottom four.

"That's the priority this season - the objective the ownership have given me - to stay in this league.

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"Can we get as far away from that bottom four as possible, and then see where the table takes us?"

While second-bottom Cheltenham remain the lowest scorers in all four divisions with only six goals, they have improved markedly since the arrival of new boss Darrell Clarke.

Indeed, Clarke has been nominated for October's manager of the month, following a return of six goals and seven points from five games.

"Cheltenham are a lot harder to beat, they're giving up a lot fewer chances than previously, their results have drastically changed,” he said.

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"They are very dangerous with the long ball, but they'll still look to play if we give them time.

"It's a huge game for us, it's really, really big.

"We have to try to dominate the game with the ball, like I know we can.

"I know we can score goals in every game.

"The way we defend will dictate the result in this game.

"Some of the really bigger games for us - maybe not the biggest teams, but the teams higher up the division - we've felt like we can really go toe to toe.

"It's probably the results against the teams closer to us in the table where our performances have been less consistent.

"Let's see where our performance is at.

"In these types of games, we have to win the fight first, and that's maybe where our inconsistency’s been.”

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