McArthur relieved to avoid drop

Sunday’s 1-0 win against Stoke at the Britannia Stadium secured the

Latics top-flight football for another season. At the end of a

dramatic afternoon where the clubs in the drop zone chopped and

changed, Birmingham and Blackpool found themselves relegated

alongside already-doomed West Ham, leaving Wigan, Wolves and

Blackburn breathing sighs of relief. McArthur, looking forward to

Scotland’s games against Wales at the Aviva Stadium on Wednesday

and the Republic of Ireland on Sunday, re-lived the great escape.

“It was a great season for us,” the 23-year-old said. “We have

performed excellently in the last three months and it was great to

get out of the situation. “It was very nervous at times at the end.

We were only one goal away from going down when it was 1-1 with

Birmingham [at Tottenham, who went on to win 2-1]. “We went through

every emotion that there is in that 90 minutes but I am just so

thankful we stayed up.” McArthur expressed sympathy for Blackpool’s

Charlie Adam, Matt Gilks and Stephen Crainey, who are set to meet

up with the rest of the Scotland squad in Dublin. “He (Charlie) is

not here yet but I am absolutely devastated for him and the boys,”

said the Wigan player. “They have performed excellently this year

and they have deserved to stay in the league but the Premiership is

a cut-throat business.” Scotland’s first game in the inaugural

international tournament in February brought a McArthur goal in the

3-0 win over Northern Ireland and he is hoping for more of the same

when he returns to the Aviva Stadium. “It was brilliant to play for

your country and score,” said the Glaswegian. “Hopefully I will get

a bit of time again and do well. “We want to win every game, no

matter whether it is a friendly or a cup competition. “There is a

great winning mentality here and we will be doing our best to get

the result.”