Wigan Athletic fans back manager Shaun Maloney pre-match despite 2-1 defeat

Wigan Athletic fans are hopeful that new manager Shaun Maloney will boost their team out of the relegation zone.

Maloney has been with the club for just under a month after taking over from Kolo Toure and was unbeaten before Saturday’s 2-1 defeat to Preston North End.

North End left back Greg Cunningham scored an own goal in the first half at 27 minutes giving the away end some stability for the first half.

Preston managed to resurface with a penalty secured by Daniel Johnson and man of the match Tom Cannon taking his squad into the lead four minutes later.

Speaking before the match, Wigan fans were confident Maloney will lead them to survival in the Championship.

One said: “He has provided a bit of stability so far much better than Kolo Toure already in the four games.

“I am quite happy with him being back and it didn’t look like we were going to win before then.”

Another fan said: “I am loving it; the fans are reciprocating the energy that is shown on the pitch.

“I am hoping the team will move outside of the relegation zone or maybe a place above there hopefully not down though, but we will see.”

With a 0-0 result against Norwich, Maloney was hoping for a better result on Saturday especially for ex Norwich forward Daniel Sinani who came on off the bench in the second half.

Maloney said: “Yeah, he has looked good in training, and I think I wanted to give him that freedom and just be more aggressive and go make things happen and he did when he came on.”

Wigan Athletic are to play Birmingham City FC on March 4 and Maloney is looking at the positives ahead of the game with this game being his first defeat since being announced as manager.

“It is going to be very difficult for us to get out of this position now I have a different sense but today was a big blow, so it is going to be vital how we respond and comeback for the next one.”

The team hoping for a better result next time out

Preston have moved up to 12th in the table after a four-game run without a win.

Impressed by Preston’s gameplay, Maloney said: “It was everything I had expected I know they had been in a certain run of form.”

Wigan remain last in the Championship table after Huddersfield and Blackpool both lost their games against Burnley and Reading on the same day.

Both the team, manager and fans are having a positive mindset ahead of their home game at the DW stadium against The Blues.

“In training I want to see a fight to get in the starting eleven and I hope that continues,” added Maloney.