LATICS have opened contract talks with Ben Watson in a bid to secure the midfielder’s long-term future.
Watson’s present deal runs out at the end of the season, by which time he’ll have racked up five-and-a-half years of service at the DW.
But new boss Uwe Rosler has been so impressed with what he’s seen so far that he wants to ensure the 28-year-old’s peak years are at Wigan.
“Ben is a fantastic player – a player I really like in terms of his professionalism, and his ability to dictate games,” recognised Rosler.
“He is a key figure in my plans, which is why we have opened talks regarding a new contract.
“That shows you exactly how much I rate the player already after such a short space of time.
“To play the way I want, I need modern-type footballers – players who are very well-educated with the ball, both technically and tactically. Ben falls into that category.”
Watson is currently waiting to hear the extent of the damage he suffered to his ankle in Saturday’s 2-1 victory at Reading.
The FA Cup final hero left the Madejski Stadium with his left foot in a protective boot after picking up the problem late on.
He’ll definitely miss the Boxing Day clash with Birmingham, having received a fifth yellow card of the season earlier in the piece.
But he’s keeping his fingers crossed the injury will not sideline him further.
“I’m hoping I’ll be okay,” said Watson.
“I went to block a pass, and landed funny as I came down.
“I tried to run it off and then I’ve gone down, without realising we’ve already made or three subs.
“Then all the lads started screaming for me to get on with it.
“I wasn’t able to run properly for the last 15-20 minutes, it was just a case of trying my best to get in the way. Hopefully it won’t be too bad.”
Thankfully, Latics held on to record their second win on the bounce, and Watson believes the side is well capable of reigniting their promotion challenge.
“We lost six on the spin, but that’s two wins in a row now and with every win comes extra confidence,” he added.
“We’d probably have won had we completed the game at Sheffield Wednesday, so we’re slowly but surely climbing the table.
“There are plenty of games still to go, plus we have a game in hand, and if we can keep our heads down and keep working hard anything is possible.”
LATICS have recalled Nouha Dicko from his loan spell at Rotherham.
The Frenchman banged in six goals during his five appearances for the Millers.