Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Controversy Aplenty - but We Mustn't Take It Lightly

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Controversy Aplenty - but We Mustn't Take It Lightly

Article excerpt

THERE certainly seems to be a lot of controversy surrounding Wigan Athletic - but Boro will have to be on their guard today.

Malky Mackay has come in as the new manager and since then there's been a lot of shenanigans with the chairman coming out and saying certain things and having to apologise for them.

It's caused quite a furore around the club but Boro can't take Wigan lightly.

The players are coming back from an international break that perhaps came at the wrong time, as Boro were on a good run of form.

You don't know which players will be weary or fatigued after playing for their country, so there's a lot of uncertainty surrounding the match.

I expect it to be a really diffi-cult game for Boro.

As a player things that happened off the field with the manager or chairman never really affected me.

Whenever a player crosses the white line it's surprising what you forget and all you want to do is get the three points.

I'm sure most players will agree with that - things that don't directly involve you off the field are forgotten as soon as the game gets underway.

Wigan may be in the bottom three but I know Malky through my time in the opposite dugout.

He is intense on the sidelines and I noticed that even from a short distance away from him.

He will demand a professionalism from his players and expect them to perform. Although he probably doesn't know the players too well after only being brought in a few days ago, he will have them fired up and I expect them to throw the kitchen sink at Boro early on.

He will have brought an injection of energy and enthusiasm and the players will be up for it.

But Boro are in good form themselves and will be cheered on by 5,000 fans at the DW Stadium.

That is a fantastic number and Boro's away support never ceases to amaze me.

I know a lot of people who are going to the game and it's no surprise, as the team are doing well and the players deserve that support. …

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