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Wigan Athletic Football Club

  • Nickname:Latics
  • Founded:1932
  • Manager:Owen Coyle
  • Ground:JJB Stadium
  • Capacity:25000
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Hutch backs Kirkland return

12 Oct 2007 - 15:54:49

Wigan Athletic goalkeeper Chris Kirkland has been backed to force his way back into the England set-up by Latics manager Chris Hutchings.

The 26-year-old's career has been blighted by a number of serious injury problems, with his only England appearance coming in August 2006 in a 4-0 friendly win over Greece.

However, Hutchings is adamant that his player has the class to get back in the fold, as he told the Wigan Observer: "Chris has been excellent for us this season.

"At Manchester United last week he made a couple of great saves and didn't have a chance with any of the goals.

"I would think he is knocking on England's door. I know he has been watched and now it's down to the England coaching staff.

"He's an important player for us, has worked hard to get back to full fitness after the injuries he had towards the end of last season and hopefully will continue playing well for us."

Meanwhile, Hutchings is hopeful that winger Rachid Bouaouzan will be challenging for a first-team debut in the near future, following the end of Ramadan.

"You have to respect a person's religious beliefs and Rachid has been fasting," Hutchings added.

"The lad has had to acclimatise, but I've no doubt that he will be a decent and important player for us."


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