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McArthur prepares for Accies exit
Published : 06 May 2010 08:18:00
James McArthur is dreaming of being reunited with best friend James McCarthy at Wigan after saying his goodbyes to Hamilton supporters. McArthur bade an emotional farewell to the New Douglas Park faithful after their final home game of the season last night, the goalless Scottish Premier League draw with St Mirren. The 22-year-old midfielder took to the mic to thank fans for their backing during five career-shaping years in Lanarkshire. McArthur is all but certain to move south this summer, with Wigan favourites for his signature after he paid a visit to the town last month. Joining Latics would see him link up with partner in crime McCarthy, who signed for the Premier League club in a reported £2million deal last summer. "I'm not going to lie; it would be good to link up with James again," said McArthur. "We'll just need to see what happens in the coming weeks. "I've honestly not got a clue what'll happen. "I'd like to have a clue!" Regardless of whether he ends up at Wigan or elsewhere, McArthur and McCarthy will be back in harness this summer when they and Brian Easton head to Cancun on holiday. The close relationship between the trio, who came through the ranks together at Hamilton, is a microcosm for the club itself, according to McArthur. "It's very tight-knit; everyone's together," he said. "We're all friends, really. "Even with James down south, we'll still speak most days. "All of the boys still talk to each other. "Mark McLaughlin and Alec Neil, they still talk to the boys and still give the young boys advice." Injury denied McCarthy the chance to attend last night's game, but Easton - who joined Burnley last summer - was there, having returned to New Douglas Park on loan in January. McArthur admitted he was welling up "a wee touch" after the final whistle as the fans sang, "There's only one James McArthur". "You saw them shouting people's names - not only mine," he added. "We've stuck together as a team and the fans have been part of that." McCarthy initially struggled to break into the Wigan side, while Easton has yet to make a mark at Burnley. McArthur might have joined them in England last summer but ended up staying put, a move he believes has paid off. "I've pushed my game on a wee touch more," he said. "I still need to add a lot to my game and I understand that. "But I feel that, looking back now, it was the right move and I wouldn't change it." And having seen McCarthy mix it with the best in the second half of the season, McArthur is in no doubt he has what it takes to emulate his friend's achievements. "James has done unbelievably," he said. "I watched a few games; I saw him against Steven Gerrard, who's one of the best central midfielders in the world and he's dominated him. "It just shows you that James is a great player. "It does give me a bit of belief and confidence that I can go down there and do well. "You want to test yourself against the best and I'm no different from any other player."