Mackay touched by Wigan welcome

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Published: Saturday 22nd November 2014 by The News Editor

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Malky Mackay admits he was touched by his welcome at Wigan but warned that the media have “had their pound of flesh” on non-football matters.

Mackay’s appointment as Latics boss has thrust the club into the eye of the storm, with the Scot still under investigation by the Football Association for allegedly exchanging racist and anti-Semitic texts during his time at Cardiff.

Owner Dave Whelan spoke widely to a variety of media outlets to explain his decision but landed himself an FA investigation following comments made to a newspaper reporter regarding Jewish and Chinese people.

Both men deny being racist.

Mackay, speaking after a 1-1 draw against Boro in his first game in charge, declined to take questions on issues outside of the match – including Whelan’s earlier warning that he would resign as chairman if found guilty by the governing body.

But he did concede to an emotional moment as the Wigan fans put on a clear show of unity at the start of the game, watched on by his family.

“You need a team effort. We had that from the steward at the door who welcomed me in, to the fans who welcomed me at 3pm, to the back office staff,” said Mackay.

“Everyone was focused on one thing and that is when better things happen.

“Everyone was so welcoming.

“I was very proud of that on a day my father and son were here to watch. No matter what happens going forward, my first day there were hairs on the back of my neck from the reception I got from the support.”

Invited to offer his thoughts on the prospect of Whelan, who stuck his neck out to employ him, resigning as chairman, Mackay demurred.

“I’ll talk to you about the game because you’ve had your pound of flesh from me on everything else,” he said.

“It’s a conversation you can have with someone else. You’ve had plenty from me over the last few days. You’ve had loads from me.

“I’ll talk all day long about football. If you’re here for different agendas you’re wasting your time.

“Mr Whelan came into the dressing room before the game to say good luck to the boys and came into see me. After the game he came in to say he was very proud of them and came in to see me to tell me that as well.”

Boro boss Aitor Karanka, who saw substitute Patrick Bamford reply to Shaun Maloney’s superb free-kick shortly after coming off the bench, was also keen to focus on the game.

Asked if he had shared any words with Mackay during their brief moments together on the touchline, the Spaniard said: “I just wanted to speak with him about football because he is a manager and I hope he does well.

“I prefer to speak about (him as a) manager, a manager who got promotion with Cardiff.

“He is a very good manager and I prefer to speak about, and think about, football.”

Karanka was content with a point, wary of the expected boost in form created by a managerial change.

“It was more difficult for us because players with a new manager are always extra motivated.

“We knew they would be very organised because Mackay is a good manager who knows how to organise a team.

“With the new manager they can go up in the table.”

Published: Saturday 22nd November 2014 by The News Editor

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