EMYR Huws says he’s ready, willing and able to step straight into the breach this weekend and help Wigan Athletic get their Championship campaign off to a flyer.
Boss Uwe Rosler is mulling over his midfield options for Saturday’s season-opening visit of Reading, with injuries already biting in the engine room.
Shaun Maloney and James McArthur are both fighting calf injuries, with Chris McCann and Ben Watson still recovering from long-term problems and Roger Espinoza having only just returned to training after the World Cup.
It means Huws – signed on a six-month loan deal from Manchester City – is standing by to make a shock debut having only trained with his new team-mates for the first time yesterday.
The 20-year-old insists he’s up for the challenge, despite still feeling the after-effects of City’s gruelling pre-season tour of the USA. “I’m definitely ready to play on Saturday if selected,” Huws told the Evening Post.
“I trained with the boys for the first time on Tuesday, we’ll continue to prepare for the game during the rest of the week and we’ll see what happens at the weekend.
“I’m really looking forward to the game on Saturday. It’s going to be a big season ahead for both myself and Wigan and I can’t wait to get started.”
The Wigan boss has already intimated he’d be prepared to throw in Huws at the deep end if required, such is his belief in the player’s ability and temperament.
And the Wales international says Rosler played a huge role in persuading him to move to Wigan from the Premier League champions.
“The manager was very enthusiastic about getting me here,” Huws acknowledged.
“He made it very clear he wanted me, which was great to hear. To get the chance to work under a manager like Uwe at a big club like Wigan was a no-brainer for me.
“I only got back from the US on Sunday after being away with City so I’m still a bit jet-lagged to be honest.
“But it was a good experience for me, I travelled to a lot of places and it will stand me in good stead.”
Coming from a club like City, where expectation is sky-high, Huws is used to the kind of pressure that Latics will under this season as promotion favourites.
“I don’t see it as a pressure situation,” he added.
“When you’re at a club like Wigan you have to deal with the expectation, and I personally don’t mind that because it gives you something to live up to.
“As long as we get a good start we should be right up there and that’s what we all hope will be the case.
“We’re all determined to get off to a good start with three points on Saturday. We’re at home and we all want to get off to a flyer.
“There’s some great players in this Wigan squad, very gifted technically, and I’m looking forward to learning from them and improving my own game.
“I’m here to play as much football as I can, and as long as I’m improving – while helping Wigan to win games – then I think everyone will be happy.”