ADAMS BACKS OLD PAL MALKY
WIGAN may be sailing in choppy waters but after his Norwich outfit piled more misery on the Latics, Neil Adams insisted his old Canaries team-mate Malky Mackay is the right man to guide them ashore.
With the backdrop of owner Dave Whelan’s ongoing troubles casting a shadow over the DW Stadium, manager Mackay is simply concerned with finding a first win since taking charge of the club.
Whelan’s latest gaffe in an interview with the Jewish Telegraph – where he referred to Chinese people as ‘chingalings’ – added further fuel to the fire and his ongoing FA investigation.
However, courtesy of Jonny Howson’s fifth-minute strike, the wait goes on for Mackay as Norwich hauled themselves out of a mini-slump of their own.
The win moves Norwich all the way up to eighth – just two points from the play-offs – and while Adams had kind words for his old mate Mackay, the boss was more concerned with re-invigorating his side’s promotion chase.
“Malky is a great lad, a great character and I get on really well with him,” he said.“He is the right man to turn Wigan’s fortunes around and I really wish him well.
“We do all feel under pressure. At a club like Norwich City, you are expected to perform and when results don’t go your way, the pressure does intensify.
“It’s one win and that’s it, we have to move on. Relegated teams are expected to have a good crack at getting back to the Premier League.
“Nine out of ten games we are looking good, we just need to get back to putting points on the table.
“We are going to turn it around, there has been plenty of positives. If we get any clean sheet, we feel we can win the game, because we feel we can score goals.
“Clean sheets are key in any game. Russell Martin has been outstanding all season and in the last three or four games he has been consistent. The players deserve all the credit.
“We’ve all come in for a lot of flack in recent weeks but it was a strong, solid, professional performance.”
Norwich took the lead after just five minutes when Gary Hooper laid the ball off perfectly for Howson, whose right-footed shot found the bottom left-hand corner.
They could have soon doubled the advantage, but Cameron Jerome shot straight into Scott Carson’s body, before the Latics began to grow into the game.
Marc-Antoine Fortune had their best chance of the half but John Ruddy dealt comfortably with his effort – and after Callum McManaman fired just wide from 25 yards Adams’ side went into the break ahead.
James Perch was first to come close to an equaliser after the break but he couldn’t get enough on a header to turn home James McClean’s free-kick.
And once Ruddy – largely untested in the second-half – safely claimed a late Fortune cross, Norwich were home and dry for just a second win in 11 games.
“We’ve definitely got a challenge,” said Mackay, whose Wigan side remain second from bottom in the table.
“For two and a half out of the three games in charge, I have been delighted by the amount of possession we’ve had and the way we have dominated.
“We need to make sure we can change that into wins going forward.
“I’ve got a team which, in the first half, weren’t up to standard but the second half certainly gave me character and that’s what I was looking for as a response at halftime.
“At half-time we changed a couple of things, but what I did see was a team that pulled their sleeves up and worked hard.”
HOW’S THAT: Norwich midfielder Jonny Howson scores what turns out to be the winner
POINT THE WAY: Jonny Howson celebrates his goal
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