Malky needs two weeks to pick best side

Wigan manager Malky Mackay
Wigan manager Malky Mackay

MALKY Mackay reckons he’ll need ‘two or three weeks’ to fully get to know his new Wigan Athletic players.

The 42-year-old kicked off his managerial career at the DW with a 1-1 draw with high-flying Middlesbrough at the weekend.

Against the best defence in the division, Latics also hit the bar and the post, as well as seeing another effort drift inches wide of an empty net.

Despite picking up a good point, Latics slipped one place in the Championship table to 23rd spot, with only rock-bottom Blackpool now below them.

They face a tough test this weekend with a trip to Sheffield Wednesday, who boast the second best defence with only 14 goals conceded in their 18 matches.

Mackay watched Wigan’s Development team in midweek, running the rule over a side featuring seven recognised first-teamers on show.

Andy Delort in particular put forward a strong case with a brace of goals as well as hitting the woodwork, with Ben Watson also getting through 87 minutes on his return from injury.

And Mackay admits the first month of his reign will be about finding out as much as possible about his new playing squad.

“This is a business, and after we’ve assessed the situation there will be playing moving out as well as coming in,” he told the Evening Post.

“After two or three weeks you get to know every player, how they train, their strengths and weaknesses.

“It will take two or three transfer windows for it to be ‘my team’, for the team to be sufficiently tweaked.

“But we have got the nucleus of a good team here, so hopefully we can get there pretty quickly.”

While changes are inevitable to start with as he decides on his best team, the Scot says eventually he hopes to arrive at an as settled team as possible.

“It’s not a given that if you play one week then you’ll play the next if we win, because I will tweak the team based on who we’re playing and how the players are,” he revealed.

“But in general I do like to have a consistency about the team.

“I’m not one for constant rotation for the sake of it.

“There will hopefully come a point where we reach a certain level of consistency and, when we do, those are the players who will play.

“The sooner that happens the better, because settled teams are invariably the ones that do best in the division.

“It’s a good group of players here, I thought that from afar and having seen them up close and personal that’s been borne out.