'My most painful memory...' Why Wigan boss celebrated Blackpool win as 'brilliant' Seasiders fans hailed

Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now
Shaun Maloney in his post-match press conference for Wigan Athletic explained why the win meant so much to him over Blackpool.

Wigan Athletic manager Shaun Maloney said the win over Blackpool meant more to him after previously encountering his most difficult days as a manager against them.

Scott Smith scored the only goal of the game as the hosts ran out 1-0 victors at the DW Stadium. It dealt a blow to Blackpool's play-off hopes as had they won they would have moved into the top six but failed to take the opportunity.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

As for Wigan, they reached the 50 point mark, putting a 15-point distance between themselves and the relegation zone, which should be enough to ensure League One football next season despite an eight point deduction. It was also a first win for Maloney over Blackpool.

Maloney has been in charge of the Latics since January 2023 and in the previous two meetings, the Seasiders had ran out victors. A 1-0 win in April 2023 where Jerry Yates scored more or less consigned Wigan to their fate of relegation from the Championship was the first defeat he suffered. Blackpool then won with an injury-time effort from Kenny Dougall back in September after Josh Magennis had cancelled out Jordan Rhodes' opener in the 89th minute.

In his post-match interview with Wigan Today, he said: "It was possibly a little bit down to the fact two of my most painful memories as a manager have been against Blackpool...they were very difficult to come to terms with.

"We've had two really tough defeats against Blackpool, and this one meant a lot...that was probably where most of the joy came from.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

"They're another local team, and you see that when we play against teams like Bolton and Blackpool...they mean a little bit more to supporters.

"Blackpool travel with a brilliant amount of supporters and, credit to them, it does make for an even better atmosphere, and more intense.

"I think that's why this game meant so much...normally I don't get too animated after games, other than to thank the fans for coming, but I was really after that.

"It was a big game for us, and it was a big win. We needed to get to that 50-point mark as quickly as we could, that was the challenge at the beginning of the season.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Despite the victory over a play-off chasing side, the 2013 FA Cup winner ruled out his side making a late charge for the play-offs. Wigan are now 11th, 10 points behind Blackpool and 13 behind Oxford United who now occupy a top-six spot following the latest round of results. Stevenage meanwhile play at the weekend against basement side Carlisle United, which if they won would create further distance between Wigan and the play-offs.

Blackpool, despite losing at the weekend, are 'right in there' according to 47-time Scotland international Maloney. Lincoln City meanwhile extended their unbeaten run to 13 games, having defeated Bristol Rovers 5-0, making them one of the in-form teams of the division.

"Yeah, I think so...I think it's probably just a little bit too far,” admitted Maloney who was honest about his side's hopes for the remainder of the campaign.

"We're still 13 points off, with only seven games to go, so I think that's too much.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

"You've Oxford, Stevenage, Lincoln are in incredible form, and I think Blackpool are right in there. There's too big a difference...but if we could finish in the top half, it would be a brilliant achievement by the players."

Comment Guidelines

National World encourages reader discussion on our stories. User feedback, insights and back-and-forth exchanges add a rich layer of context to reporting. Please review our Community Guidelines before commenting.