Sharpe offered to fund warm-weather training camp

David Sharpe
David Sharpe

Graham Barrow has revealed he turned down an offer from chairman David Sharpe to send Wigan Athletic’s players away for a warm-weather training camp during the international break.

Sharpe offered to put his hand in his pocket to fund the kind of trip that Latics players were familiar with during the Roberto Martinez era in the Premier League, to energise them ahead of the eight games that will make or break their campaign.

But Barrow elected instead to keep the players on home soil, where he feels their needs have been better met in preparation for the final push.

“In fairness to the chairman, he gave me the option to take the players away,” Barrow told the Wigan Post.

“I just felt that the Dan Burns and the Stevie Warnocks of this world had earned a few days off for their efforts of late.

“Obviously there was time for some of them to go away if they wanted to, between last Sunday and Thursday, and I know some of them took that chance.

“I just didn’t think it was something we needed to do as a squad in our position.

“We needed to do some work with the lads – different work with lads who have had different workloads.

“I didn’t want us to go away and be faced with that boredom you can sometimes get in that situation.

“I think the lads were better served recharging their batteries at home with their families.

“That was my decision and I feel it’s the right one.

“One of two of the non-playing staff were obviously disappointed not to be getting a bit of sun!

“But you have to do things for the right reasons, and I think we did that.”

Barrow says Sharpe’s offer remains on the table, and may be an option in the last month of the campaign if Latics are still in with a fighting chance of survival.

“It wouldn’t stop us doing it at some stage in the future,” the interim boss admitted.

“If we’re going into the Reading and Leeds games needing a win, or a win and a draw, to stay up, the chairman’s promised we can do that if we like.

“It’s typical of the club really. You know what this club is like – we don’t give up on anything.

“Going right to the top, and Mr Whelan and his family, they haven’t given up – and neither have we.

“You can’t ask any more than that. We can’t ask any more in terms of support from the football club.”