Emmerson Boyce column: I don’t want to leave like this

Emmerson Boyce
Emmerson Boyce
  • We need to start rebuilding for next season
  • To end the home campaign like we did was disappointing
  • If I could stay here that would be the perfect scenario, if not, it’s the end of a chapter
  • I’m just happy to have been part of this incredible journey that we’ve all enjoyed
  • I’ll always be a Wigan Athletic supporter

IT’S been a disappointing season for us from start to finish, but even until Tuesday night we all believed we could stay up.

To be fair we didn’t have too much hope of Reading – with their record of late – going to Rotherham and doing anything.

I’d just like to the thank the Wigan fans for everything they’ve done for me, and want them to know that - whatever happens - I’ll always have the club deep in my heart

Emmerson Boyce

Obviously Rotherham wanted it more and they got the win they needed.

And at the end of the day, the league table doesn’t lie.

We had more than enough opportunities – even in the last couple of weeks – to sort ourselves out, but it wasn’t meant to be.

We now know our fate, we now know where are and we now need to start rebuilding as quickly as possible for next season.

It still hasn’t really sunk in, to be fair.

We’ve just been trying to concentrate as much as we can about the Brentford game this weekend and making sure we end the season on a positive note.

Obviously then, when the season’s over, you sit down and reflect, and that’s when it’ll really sink in.

To end the home campaign like we did last weekend was disappointing – we wanted to get the win for our fans more than anything.

I thought we played reasonably well against Wolves, but we just couldn’t put away our chances.

In many ways that’s been the story of the season – we had lots of possession, created lots of chances, only for the opposition to go down the other end and score a goal.

The fans deserved to see us end on a high for the way they’ve stuck by and supported us through a difficult season.

Hopefully we can put that right this weekend and end the overall campaign with a win at Brentford.

If we can do that, it’ll be the first step towards next year and turning this around.

Obviously this club is going to change a lot over the summer in readiness for next year, and players will again come and go.

I feel the club is in a great pair of hands with a new chairman and a new manager already in place, who want to progress the club quickly and play football the right way.

The last couple of weeks have been an absolute joy - getting back to playing football the right way, the way we know Wigan can play, passing the ball around, keeping possession, and I’m sure we’ll be back in the Championship in no time at all.

The club has a massive rebuilding job to do. But in hindsight it could be that relegation turns out to be a good thing.

Gary is still learning his trade, and sometimes you have to take a step back to take a step forward.

And this could be the first step in a successful new era for the club.

On a personal note, I don’t know what’s going on with me as far as the future’s concerned.

The Wolves game could have been the last time I walked off the pitch at the DW Stadium, and it was quite emotional.

I’d just like to the thank the Wigan fans for everything they’ve done for me, and want them to know that - whatever happens - I’ll always have the club deep in my heart.

I think in January, the club had more or less made its mind up that I wouldn’t be here next season.

But with the new manager and the new chairman coming in, they’ll sit down this summer, discuss the future, and work out if they want me to be a part of it.

Obviously I want to be part of it, I want to help the club get back to where it deserves to be.

But I also understand that this is football, things move on, people move in new directions, and I’ll wait and see what’s right for myself.

If I could stay here, that would be the perfect scenario.

If not, it’s the end of a chapter and I’ll have to move on.

Physically, I feel more than capable of playing on for another year here.

Against Wolves at the weekend, I played wing-back and I showed I can do the full 90 minutes. Fitness is not a problem.

I like proving people wrong, and I look to great examples like Ryan Giggs, Frank Lampard and Steven Gerrard, who have proved that, if you look after yourself the right way, you can go on for as long as you want.

I’ve still got the hunger, I’ve still got the determination, but at the end of the day it’s out of my hands.

I certainly don’t want to leave on a low like this.

I thought last year was devastating in terms of the fact we didn’t make it back into the Premier League, and we still had unfinished business there.

But to go out having been relegated to League One – having done nine years, and played just short of 300 games – would be a bit disappointing.

We’ll have to see.

If it’s not meant to be, it’s not meant to be.

One thing’s for sure...I’ll always be a Wigan Athletic supporter, whatever happens.

My family has grown up here – my son Jayden was only six months when we arrived, my other boy Kaylan was born here, and so was my little girl Amaya.

In fact, we met up with some friends the other week, and they even said I had a northern twang going on!

You don’t spend nine years in a place and not develop some sort of affinity for the town and the area.

We all enjoy our life up here, and in an ideal world we’d stay up here.

But at the end of the day I’m also a realist, and I know that all journeys come to an end sooner or later.

The last nine years have been a fantastic journey for both myself and the club.

On a personal level, I obviously want to get to the 10 years.

But if it’s not meant to be, it’s not meant to be.

I’ve lifted the FA Cup, I’ve captained my team in Europe, I’ve played at some fantastic grounds, been in sides that have beaten Manchester United, Liverpool, Arsenal and the rest – stuff you dream of as a kid.

I’m just happy to have been part of this incredible journey that we’ve all enjoyed.

Fingers crossed it’s not over yet.