Chairman Sharpe backs Grigg to shine

David Sharpe
David Sharpe

Chairman David Sharpe says he never had any doubt in Will Grigg’s ability to score goals in the Championship, and thinks the star striker is only going to get better.

Grigg has netted five times so far this season, contributing a big chunk of Wigan’s 12 goals, to prove his strike force can be just as potent away from League One.

He’s a goalscorer, a natural-born goalscorer, and it doesn’t matter what level players like that are playing – they’ll always score goals

David Sharpe

But Sharpe has admitted both he and Grigg were mystified when the striker was written off ahead of the current campaign, with call from some quarters suggesting he wouldn’t be a threat in the Championship.

“Whenever I’ve spoken to Will, he couldn’t believe how people had written off his ability to score goals at this level,” said the chairman.

“And I have to say couldn’t believe that either.

“He’s a goalscorer, a natural-born goalscorer, and it doesn’t matter what level players like that are playing –they’ll always score goals.

“They know where to be and they know how to put the ball in the back of the net.”

Wigan’s title success last term was the third time Northern Ireland international Grigg had won promotion from League One, having achieved the feat with Brentford and MK Dons.

But this year is the first chance he’s had to prove himself in the second tier.

And with goals against Blackburn, a double against Nottingham Forest and one each against Sheffield Wednesday and Wolves Sharpe believes there will be more to come as Wigan look to use their run of four points from the last two games as a launchpad to climb the table.

“He’s obviously got a lot of confidence in his own ability, he’s started the season very well, and he’s only going to kick on,” he said.

Grigg was left on the bench for last month’s trip to Wolves, but responded by scoring the winner to give Wigan their best result since August’s 3-0 win over Blackburn.

And while he started in the 0-0 draw with Brentford before the international break, being replaced by Adam Le Fondre for the last 12 minutes, Sharpe says increased competition for places will help Grigg play better.

“He’s got competition for his place now, and that’s only going to help him score even more goals,” he explained.

“He knows there are players champing at the bit to take his place, like Adam (Le Fondre), Kaiyne (Woolery) and Craig (Davies). He’ll want to stay in the team and I think that will help him do that.”

Latics host fellow promoted side Burton today, who themselves are looking to build on four points from their last two games, their most recent being a 2-0 success over Cardiff.