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The Republic of Ireland international says his team-mate's strike could prove pivotal come the end of the season and is now looking forward to a trip to Wembley on Saturday

Wigan midfielder James McCarthy has described Shaun Maloney's last-minute free kick against QPR on Sunday, as "a piece of magic", after the Latics grabbed a vital point at Loftus Road.

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13/8 Wigan are 13/8 to be relegated this season with BetVictor
Maloney denied QPR victory with a 94th minute equaliser and while Wigan remain in the relegation zone they are now level on points with 17th place Sunderland, having played a game less, and seven points ahead of the Rs.

McCarthy admitted that the late goal could prove pivotal come the end of the season but said he was not surprised to see his team-mate hit the back of the net.

"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," he told the club's official website.

"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 manager Roberto Martinez was critical of his side's performance after the game but McCarthy is backing his team to improve next time out when they face Millwall at Wembley in the FA Cup on Saturday.

"We're gutted that we didn't play well and we didn't make the man advantage count," he continued.

"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 Manchester City."

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