Bring on Wigan relegation scrap, says warhorse Pennant after arrival from India

New Wigan Athletic signing Jermaine Pennant has said Friday’s loss to Charlton Athletic showed just how much effort is required from now until the end of the season.

The former Liverpool and Stoke City midfielder signed for the Latics last week on a free transfer from FC Pune City of the Indian Premier League.

As manager Malky Mackay’s 10th signing, he comes into the Wigan squad in the hope that he can help them out of the Championship relegation zone, but he claims there is a lot of work to do.

“It’s a difficult position for the club.  Friday’s game showed just how much effort is going to be needed from now until the end of the season,” said the 32-year-old.

“It’s a fight down at the bottom, it’s a simple as that, but we’ve got 14 games to go and it’s by no means over. 

“All we need to do is get a couple of victories in a row and get that confidence back to help us stay in this league.” 

The Latics suffered a 3-0 defeat to Charlton at the DW stadium on Friday night while injuries struck William Kvist, who has a hamstring problem, and Leon Clarke, who came off wearing a neck brace.

With Juan Carlos Garcia also being diagnosed with leukaemia last week, it seems that not much is going Mackay’s way but, in the face of hostility, his players must continue fighting.

“To lose two key players on the back of Chris Herd at Reading, leaves us down to bare bones at the moment and it’s about making sure we get up and get on with it again,” said the Scotsman.

“We started as well as we’ve started for a long period; we had a terrific opening period but their first attempt on goal was a goal.

“We have to keep looking at the loan market and try to do something else because we’ve been hit hard by injuries, which is disappointing.”

Mackay’s men are nine points from safety with 14 games remaining and the hard work will begin tomorrow against his old club Cardiff City who sit in 17th place with an eight-game winless run.

The Bluebirds will no doubt be favourites despite their record against a Wigan side that are being quite literally crushed, but Pennant is used to these fights and is prepared for the dirty work to begin.

He added: “I’ve been in fights like this before.  I’ve played in FA Cup finals, in the Champions League, but I’ve also been at the low points of fighting to survive, so I think that will help me a lot in this league.

“Working hard is the main thing when you’re fighting against relegation and I’m prepared to do that.”

Main image courtesy of Stoke City FC via YouTube, with thanks.

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