Former Hibs boss Shaun Maloney confirmed as new manager of Wigan Athletic

Former Hibs boss Shaun Maloney had a defiant message after being confirmed as relegation-threatened Wigan Athletic’s new manager today, insisting “we can turn this around”.
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The former Scotland international has signed a three-and-a-half-year deal to succeed Kolo Toure, who was relieved of his duties by the EFL Championship club on Thursday night with the Latics bottom of the table. Maloney, who sacked by Hibs in April last year after just four months and 19 months in charge, is back on familiar territory, having played for Wigan between 2011 and 2015.

As a player, Maloney helped Wigan defy the odds in the Premier League as well as supplying the corner from which Ben Watson headed home the FA Cup final winner in 2013. His first task as manager will be to steer them away from the foot of the Championship. With only 18 games to go, and a four-point deficit to make up, it won't be easy.

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“I’m very proud to be back," said the 40-year-old. “I have amazing memories here and created some fabulous moments with teams and with fans, and I’m excited to get started. The feeling I have from those times as a player is a big factor for me.

Shaun Maloney is back at Wigan Athletic after an eight-year absenceShaun Maloney is back at Wigan Athletic after an eight-year absence
Shaun Maloney is back at Wigan Athletic after an eight-year absence

“I have been here previously and have always felt a great warmth from the supporters I want the fans to see a team that is giving absolutely everything, fighting to get better and the supporters need to feel that. The connection is there, we just need to reawaken it.

“We needed that support 10/11 years ago, and they were incredible for the team that I played in, and we’re going to need that again. It’s a really big challenge but I believe we can turn this around. A massive amount of work needs to be done, but I can’t wait to get started.”

Maloney, who started his coaching career by taking Celtic’s youth team coach before becoming Belgium assistant manager, has been visiting a number of clubs across Europe since his departure from Easter Road. Graham Barrow – another former Wigan player – is also returning as assistant manager. Max Rogers will also join the coaching staff, having spent across Scotland, England and America.