Wigan Athletic manager wants star to carry on for another year

Shaun Maloney wants James McClean to stay on and help to lead the Wigan Athletic rebuild - in whichever division that may be.
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The winger, who recently won his 98th cap for the Republic of Ireland, turned 34 earlier this month.

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But his performances on the field have been as consistent as those he made during his previous spell with Latics almost a decade ago.

James McClean has been backed to play on by manager Shaun MaloneyJames McClean has been backed to play on by manager Shaun Maloney
James McClean has been backed to play on by manager Shaun Maloney
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One of his team-mates back then was Maloney, who is desperate to extend McClean's tenure beyond this summer.

"James has been amazing since the day I came in," said Maloney.

"Again, it's a different dynamic, I've gone from his team-mate to now his manager.

"I've seen how much he's growing tactically, he's really, really smart, and how he's kept himself in that condition is to his credit.

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"But being part of our club, and working with him for so long, I'm extremely proud to have him as one of our players.

"I'm so delighted to have him here in the dressing room.

"And I sincerely hope he's one of our players for a while to come.

"He's played left back, left wing back, left midfield, and he gives you absolutely everything, as well as that quality in the final third with his crossing.

"I hope James knows how highly I think of him, and I hope he's here for a period of time for sure."

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It has been widely expected McClean would finish his career back home with Derry.

Maloney, though, believes he has plenty to offer this side of the Irish Sea before calling it a day.

"James will have an opinion on this, but it's my opinion he has more than one year hopefully here," Maloney said.

"He's contracted until the end of this season, and it's obviously up to James after that.

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"But if he continues in the same condition and at the same level, I don't see why he couldn't stay here.

"I'd really like to plan to have him for at least another year, if not longer.

"Yes, I'm aware of his age, but the way he's playing does not relate to that age at all.

"And I understand his ties, but I hope it's here where he sees out his career and not Derry."