Wigan Athletic's international presence is coming at a cost, admits manager

Shaun Maloney admits Wigan Athletic's burgeoning Academy - which is making its mark on the international stage - will come at a cost.
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Latics were without a game at the weekend after their scheduled visit of Charlton was postponed due to international call-ups.

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Wigan Athletic Academy star making waves on the international stage.

In total, Latics have five players away with their countries - Josh Magennis, Jordan Jones (both Northern Ireland), Liam Morrison (Scotland Under-21s), Baba Adeeko (Republic of Ireland Under-21s) and Sam Tickle (England Under-21s).

Shaun Maloney is delighted Latics have so much international presence - but it is coming at a costShaun Maloney is delighted Latics have so much international presence - but it is coming at a cost
Shaun Maloney is delighted Latics have so much international presence - but it is coming at a cost
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That would have been half a dozen had Norway Under-21 international Thelo Aasgaard not been sidelined with a shoulder problem.

While Magennis, Jones and Morrison had already been capped before joining Latics, both Adeeko and Tickle have been fast-tracked into their national squads after sensational starts to the campaign.

With fellow Academy product Charlie Hughes, still only 19, also on the England Youth radar, Latics appear unlikely to be playing on the international weekends for the foreseeable future.

The problem for Latics is that - just like Saturday's visit of Charlton - the two international weekends before Christmas are also scheduled home games - against Peterborough on October 14 and Wycombe on November 18.

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Intriguingly, Adeeko's Ireland face Aasgaard's Norway in a Euro Under-21 qualifier on November 17, which will leave Maloney and Latics with divided loyalties.

As well as having to deal with the financial ramifications - the effect on attendances, hospitality sales, catering etc - of switching three prime Saturday fixtures to midweek.

"If we lose an influential group of players, it obviously impacts on the decision," said the Latics boss.

"I know the fans want us to play, and I know the finances between us playing on a Saturday and a Tuesday are very different.

"Now more than ever we are aware of that.

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"But if it's too much of a disadvantage to us, I would probably look to make that decision (to postpone)."

While Maloney is firmly fixated on on-field matters, he is well aware that off-field factors are also hugely relevant.

"It's not ideal," he acknowledged. "We will always look to fulfil a fixture as much as we can.

"We know supporters like to watch their team play on a Saturday at 3pm, and obviously the finances are weighted towards that.

"But these things happen...we can't complain too much."

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Latics signed off for the break on the back-of successive defeats against Barnsley and Blackpool, which have slightly soured a blistering start that saw them pick up 10 points from the opening four matches

However, Maloney believes it's far too early to be looking at the fledgling league table.

"I'm not looking at the table too much at the moment, now we've got out of negative points," he added.

"Maybe once we get closer to Christmas time, and into the New Year, that's where you'll see how the table is, for us, not for any other team.

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"Starting on minus eight, we got out of that so quickly, I'm sure there'll be a moment where that impacts on us.

"But we've got months ahead, with lots and lots of games, and we have to try and fight to be as close to that top half as we can.

"With each international break, if it happens again next month, it's whether we can make that gap smaller, and then smaller again.

"I wouldn't worry too much about the table at the moment, but at the same time I don't want us to take our feet off the gas.

"We've done well to start with, but if we don't continually have that desire, we're risking getting beat."