CONOR Sammon can be Wigan Athletic’s secret weapon in the fight against relegation.
That’s according to chairman Dave Whelan, who was very impressed with the former Kilmarnock striker’s debut at Manchester City last weekend.
Whelan splashed out an undisclosed fee believed to be in the region of £600,000 for the Dubliner in the final hours of the January transfer window.
The 24-year-old has been wrapped in cotton wool by Roberto Martinez as he gets to grips with life in England.
But the signs from his late cameo at Eastlands – when he almost scored with the last kick of the game – are that he has found his feet in England.
And Premier League defences had better beware.
Whelan told the Evening Post: “I must say I liked the look of young Sammon when he came on last week.
“I thought he changed the game when he came on.
“He made an instant impact down the middle and immediately helped Hugo Rodallega, who’s been on his own quite a lot this year.
“He made that chance at the end himself, and he looks very direct and very willing – a real 110 per cent player.
“He got stuck in too, and I’m looking forward to seeing him for the rest of the season, if Roberto decides to start with him.”
After a weekend off, and a short break in La Manga, Latics return to action on Saturday against fellow strugglers Birmingham.
Latics have already been written off in many quarters for the drop, with nine matches still remaining.
But Whelan insists there are plenty of twists and turns to go before the final reckoning on May 22.
“We’ve done as much as we can, but the three injuries in the middle of the season (to James McCarthy, Victor Moses and Franco di Santo) held us back,” he added.
“Everyone’s fit now, though, we’re still in there and we’re still flying the flag.
“I am greatly encouraged by what is going on and the outlook for the future is very bright.”
Sammon himself is desperate to build on his impressive debut at Eastlands.
And the former Republic of Ireland U21 international is convinced he and Rodallega can combine to fire the goals to see Wigan safe.
“Hugo’s a fantastic player, Wigan’s joint record goalscorer in the Premier League, and for me to be playing with players like him is a massive help,” Sammon said.
“I thoroughly enjoyed linking up with him last week, although it was only for a short period of time.
“And I’m looking forward to hopefully more over the coming weeks.
“I’ll keep working hard, and I’m confident I can keep getting myself into positions and hopefully score a few goals.”