Legend Scholes not on Joyce’s radar - for now

Warren Joyce
Warren Joyce

Warren Joyce has hosed down speculation linking Manchester United legend Paul Scholes with a coaching position at Wigan Athletic.

Indeed, the new Latics boss admits he’s barely had time to consider his options regarding his backroom staff since taking over earlier this month.

Joyce is currently being assisted by Graham Barrow, Joe Parkinson and Peter Atherton, who stayed on following the sacking of Gary Caldwell.

A permanent decision will be made in due course but, in the meantime, Joyce says he has more than enough on his plate preparing for this weekend’s trip to Barnsley.

“I’ve not really looked at it to be honest,” he told the Evening Post. “The main priority has been coming in and looking at the players.

“If you’ve got a check-list of things to do, you want to be finding out as much as you can about the players at the club, and learn everything about them – not just the first-team players, but also the reserves and the Academy lads.

“It’s about getting to know the players, being out with them on the training ground, and putting them in situations and seeing how they react.

“That’s the quickest way of getting to know them.”

When asked specifically whether Scholes was in his thinking, Joyce quipped: “I think it’d probably take him a while to get fit to be fair, judging by the last time I saw him.

“I’m also not sure we’ve got enough players in the squad to be able to cope with the injuries of him kicking them in training!

“Seriously, though, I think he has got fantastic things to offer any football club.

“You’d probably rather have him working at the football club than commentating on the telly, because he can be ruthless.

“I wouldn’t like to be on the wrong end of his tongue, particularly after the last game!”

While Joyce must wait until January to sign any players from other clubs, he remains able to bring in free agents – although he also poured cold water on that possibility.

“At the minute, I think we can only be looking at the players within the group,” he revealed.

“Anybody who’s not been training elsewhere, you don’t know what kind of shape they’re going to be in – you certainly wouldn’t expect them to be able to do what the boys here are being asked to do.

“You’d obviously look at every opportunity on its individual merits, but I think you have to give the players here the chance to show what they can do, because they’re desperate to do well.”

Centre-back Jake Buxton is a major doubt for the trip to Oakwell after missing a chunk of training over the international break.

The former Derby man was substituted after an hour of the 3-0 home defeat to Reading on November 5 after feeling the effects of an Achilles problem.

And Joyce admits he’ll have to prove his fitness before being risked in South Yorkshire.

“Jake’s not really trained much since the last game but, apart from that, there’s no fresh injuries,” reported Joyce.

There is better news surrounding Nick Powell, who’s missed the last two matches since being forced off after half-an-hour against Brighton on October 22 with a hamstring strain.

Joyce, who worked with Powell at Manchester United, added: “Nick’s joined in training this week. You want everyone fit and competing.”