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McCarthy hails Maloney 'magic'

Wigan midfielder Shaun Maloney's point-saving free-kick at QPR was typical of the brilliance he produces on the training ground every day, according to team-mate James McCarthy.

• Blog: Maloney's super strike

Scotland international Maloney, 30, struck in the 94th-minute to earn a 1-1 draw and boost his side's Premier League survival hopes after Loic Remy appeared to have given Rangers victory.

Wigan remain in the relegation zone following the draw, but are only behind fourth-from-bottom Sunderland on goal difference.

Manager Roberto Martinez called it his team's worst performance of the season, as they laboured against a relegation-threatened QPR side who played for 70 minutes with ten men after striker Bobby Zamora was sent off for a challenge on Jordi Gomez.

And as far as McCarthy is concerned, former Celtic and Aston Villa midfielder Maloney's free-kick got Wigan out of trouble.

Republic of Ireland international McCarthy, 22, told Wigan's website: "The goal is a piece of magic and he does that day in, day out in training and thankfully he pulled us out of a big hole yesterday.

"Conceding so late on was a blow for us but we were desperate not to be beaten so we're really happy that Shaun scored when he did.

"The emotion at the time of our goal was brilliant and it could be a moment that really, really counts come the end of the season."

Wigan, who face Championship side Millwall in an FA Cup semi-final at Wembley on Saturday, do not play again in the Premier League until they visit Manchester City on April 17.

McCarthy is hopeful that, despite their poor performance at Loftus Road, Wigan will not slip behind in the chase for safety when they resume their league campaign.

He said: "We're gutted that we didn't play well and we didn't make the man advantage count.

"It would have been a massive three points for them but it turned into a huge point for us, especially with the FA Cup semi-final coming up.

"The point gives us something to kick on from in the league once we return to league action against Man City."

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