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McARTHUR EXPECTS QPR BATTLE

PUBLISHED

11:00 5th April 2013

by Nick Taylor

Midfielder wary of what Latics will be facing at Loftus Road on Sunday.

Wigan Athletic will go into the game against Queens Park Rangers on Sunday seven points ahead of their opponents but, James McArthur believes the points gap will only make QPR hungrier to battle.

“We expect a fight from them,” said McArthur.

“Even though there’s a gap in points they've obviously still got a chance of staying up and I saw them against Fulham and in the second half they played really well.

“One thing we know about QPR is that they’ll have a real desire to win this weekend because of their result against Fulham but so will we because we’re on a good run of results.”

It has been a mixed sequence of results between the Rs and Latics, with a win for both sides last season and a 2-2 draw at the DW Stadium earlier this season, something which McArthur believes shows the unpredictable nature of games in the Premier League.

“Last time at Loftus Road it was a tough game and they came at us right from the start which is always a test especially on a tight pitch and we’ll be expecting the same from them again.

“I felt that the game we played at home this season we dominated the whole match but we couldn't quite get the three points that I think we deserved.

“We’ve had some very different games against QPR since they came into the Premier League and last time it was quite open despite it being a draw.”

Looking ahead to this weekend, the 25-year-old said there is only one thing on the players’ minds.

“On Sunday we’ll try to influence the game with our style of play and try to dominate in possession in order to get three points.

“We’re on a good run of form right now and we’re confident that we can continue to pick up points in the way that we have recently.”

The Scotsman could potentially come up against his international team mate Jamie Mackie on Sunday if both are chosen by their managers.

McArthur said that Mackie is the type of player that any dressing room would like to have, particularly at this stage of the season.

“Jamie’s a very good character with a lot of quality as a player and he’s the sort of guy that you want around you when you’re battling for points, so that’s the type of player we could come up against at the weekend.

“If he plays against us on Sunday he’ll try and give us a hard time so we’ll need to make sure that we look after him.

“I've not spoke to him recently but he’s a really nice lad and I get on with him really well, it will be good if I get the chance to play against him on Sunday.”

Along with Mackie, the likes of Shaun Derry and Clint hill have also been at QPR since their journey back into the Premier League, that level of experience is something McArthur compared to himself and his Latics team mates.

“In that respect we are very similar because most of our players have been here for a few seasons now and we know what it takes at this stage of the season.

“It’s helping us a lot because we know each other’s styles of play much better.

“We’re getting stronger and stronger which is a massive advantage going into the game on Sunday.”

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