Gavin Massey admits Sam Morsy will be a ‘massive miss’ for Wigan Athletic this weekend as they continue their promotion push at Scunthorpe.
But he’s confident the skipper’s absence – to play for Egypt in important World Cup qualifiers – will act as a golden opportunity for Max Power or David Perkins to stake their claim for regular inclusion.
“Sam’s a great player, and he’ll be a massive miss,” Massey told the Wigan Post. “Since I’ve come in he’s been the epitome of what you’re looking for as a captain.
“He’s been different class, and a real leader of the team.
“Put it like this, you dstay out of his way in training when he’s on it! He trains the way he plays, he leads from the front.
“But, at the same time, we’ve got players like Max and Perkins, who are more than ready for the opportunity.”
Team-mate Callum Elder is also adamant the Latics squad is strong enough to cope with the loss of such an important cog.
“It’s a hard one, because you always want your best players available for every game, especially Sam Morsy,” recognised Elder.
“He’ll be a big loss, but at the same time it gives other players the chance to come in and fill his boots.
“As a squad we’re really looking forward to the challenge of the game on Saturday against Scunthorpe.”
Morsy and Egypt face Congo on Sunday, knowing a win – coupled with a draw in the other group game between Uganda and Ghana – would see them qualify for next summer’s finals in Russia.
Young goalkeepers Owen Evans and Matija Sarkic are also away on international duty with Wales Under-21s and Montenegro Under-21s respectively, meaning Latics had the chance to call off Saturday’s game at Scunthorpe.
However, Evans and Wales are only in action tomorrow night, meaning he’ll be back in time for club duty at the weekend – and Latics have elected to fulfil the fixture.
“For me personally, when you have that break, and you have to play the game on a Tuesday night, it’s not the same,” added Massey.
“You find yourself playing catch-up, and you’d rather have the points in the bag than a game in hand.”