Ali backing Joyce to succeed

Ali Al Habsi thwarts Adam Le Fondre
Ali Al Habsi thwarts Adam Le Fondre

Former favourite Ali Al Habsi is hoping Warren Joyce can have the same positive effect at Wigan Athletic as Jaap Stam has had at Reading.

Joyce’s first day at the DW office was ruined by Reading at the weekend, with Al Habsi marking his first return since leaving in the summer of 2015 with a clean sheet and three points.

But he feels Latics have picked the right man to replace his old captain Gary Caldwell.

“Yes, I wish them all the best,” said Al Habsi. “They have some good quality players and a great manager who wants to do fantastic in the league.

“I think they will push up the league.

“I think he has that experience at Manchester United and it’s not easy to come to a new club and I think he would have wanted a better start than that.

“But he has the time now in the international break and he will have more time with the players and they will push back again.

“If they could stay up and we could do well it would be fantastic.”

Al Habsi was cheered before and during the game by the home supporters, who took him to their hearts during his five-year stay.

“To spend five years at this club with the fantastic fans and the way they welcome me, I was so happy,” added the Oman No.1

“I left the club but all the time my heart is with this football club and their fantastic fans.”