Malky Mackay - No quick fix for Wigan’s woes

Norwich manager Neil Adams and Wigan Athletic counterpart Malky Mackay prowl the touchline at the DW

Norwich manager Neil Adams and Wigan Athletic counterpart Malky Mackay prowl the touchline at the DW Stadium. Picture by Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd - Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Wigan boss Malky Mackay admitted there is no quick fix to the Latics' woes after his old club inflicted a second defeat in three Championship games since taking charge.

Norwich's former defender made it clear there could be no room for sentiment prior to the game and City obliged when Jonny Howson's fifth-minute strike proved the difference in a dour affair.

Wigan remain in the bottom three following a turbulent period since last season's Championship play-off push under Uwe Rosler.

'There's nothing else for it but to work hard,' said Mackay. 'I've got a good, honest group of players but we've got to make sure we turn that into wins, that's why I'm here, that's what I do and I'll work from morning to night to make sure that we turn this around for Wigan Athletic. I know we have a challenge.

'We flashed 20-odd balls across the box in this game and you have to put the ball in the back of the net. We had a couple of set-pieces that were nearly there, with two balls spilling out of the keeper's hands, but we didn't quite manage to finish. They took their chance, we didn't.

'It seems to be a bit like that at the moment, in terms of the ball being in and around that six-yard without anyone there to have that will or desire to put the ball in the net. That's something we'll change over time with the players getting used to me and me getting used to them.'

Mackay was distinctly unimpressed by the hosts' sluggish start to the game at the DW Stadium.

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'You're not allowed to start poorly in this league or you get punished and we were in that first 15 minutes,' he said. 'We started far too slowly. It was unfortunate that Andy Taylor's slip allowed Howson a free strike on goal, but for 15, 20 minutes it was not good enough really in terms of everything and anything we were doing.

'I would say Norwich dominated the opening half and in that period I had a team who were not up to standard but in the second half they certainly showed me a lot of character. It took until half-time for us to really look as if we had any urgency about our game because after that point I thought we were so much better, but it wasn't enough.

'It comes down to the players, because you have to start at a pace against a good team, a team that came down from the Premier League, with a big squad and a quality group.'

Mackay is already eyeing potential reinforcements in the upcoming January transfer window, but the Scot is ruling out major surgery.

'We will certainly try and tweak the squad if we can but January is an interesting time in terms of the pool of players who are out there,' he said. 'You have to be careful in the type of character you go for and also why somebody is available in January, but there is a need for freshness and that will be linked to the financial prudence of what we do as a club.

'It will be linked to outs as well and what we have to make sure we do is balance the two. The squad is maybe too big here.

'We have 10 out of contract at the end of the season, so in time it will be re-shaped but it is a squad where I have seen boys who want to work hard.'