Jewell promises quick decisions on contracts

PAUL Jewell has promised he won't keep players sweating on their futures as he shapes the Wigan Athletic squad for next season.

Three Latics players are out of contract this summer, two more are on loan, while a number will be entering the final year of their current deals.

Last week, Jewell allowed Alan Mahon to join Burnley on loan with a view to a 200,000 permanent move, while youngsters Luke Joyce and Kevin Lee have left for Carlisle and Blackpool respectively.

And over the next seven games, Jewell will be deciding whether there will be any more departures and which areas of the squad need strengthening in the summer.

Jewell told the Evening Post: "There's plenty to play for in the remaining games, players are playing for different reasons.

"Some are playing for new contracts, some for contract extensions and some to be here next season when it is going to be much tougher for us.

"I understand players want to know what their future will be and I want to be as fair with them as I can be.

"It's a bit of a balancing act, if I can tell the players what is going on sooner rather than later, I will do that.

"I've done that in the past with Andy Liddell and Neil Roberts, and if players can get a better deal than here, we

always let them move on."

Stephane Henchoz, Matt Jackson and David Thompson are out of contract at the end of June, while Latics must decide if they want to try and extend the stays of loan players Reto Ziegler and Neil Mellor.

Jewell revealed it was having Ziegler in the squad which allowed him to let Mahon leave for regular first team football at Burnley.

Ziegler's chances at White Hart Lane appear to be limited, having been brought to Spurs by former sporting director Frank Arnesen who has now moved on to Chelsea.

Meanwhile, Jewell is tempted to stop himself talking about Latics' European chances because he fears jinxing them.

He said: "To get into Europe would be remarkable, it is Walter Mitty stuff really, but there's still a chance. Perhaps we're better off not talking about it now."