Confidence is key for Wigan Athletic chief

Leam Richardson hopes Will Keane's goal against Shrewsbury will act as a shot in the arm for both the player and his team-mates.
Will Keane scores his fourth goal of the season against ShrewsburyWill Keane scores his fourth goal of the season against Shrewsbury
Will Keane scores his fourth goal of the season against Shrewsbury

The 27-year-old's penalty two minutes into the second period secured a point Latics more than deserved against the in-form visitors.

It also continued a purple patch for a player who has really stepped up following Joe Garner's departure, with four goals now in his last eight outings.

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Keane's form is certainly boosting his chances of staying with Latics, with his short-term deal due to expire next month.

And with experience to pass on to rookie striking colleagues Kyle Joseph and Charlie Jolley, he could have a key role to play moving forward.

"Absolutely, it will do him the world of good," Richardson enthused. "As a striker, any goal you score is a good goal, and he'll take great confidence from that.

"Goals breed confidence, and that was something we spoke about at sport, in football, it's all about confidence.

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"You get that by being a little bit fearless, a little bit free, and taking more of the ball and more of the initiative.

"In doing that, you're opening yourself up to maybe make a few more mistakes, but you'll take that, you accept that.

"It's all part of the educational process going forward, and the lads on the whole are doing fine."

Richardson may also be able to call on Wales international midfielder Lee Evans sooner than he expected.

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Evans underwent knee surgery last week, which Richardson feared may keep him out for 'months rather than weeks'.

Thankfully, though, the prognosis is at the positive end of the spectrum.

“Lee’s operation went as well as it could," Richardson confirmed.

"The surgeon went in to have a look and thankfully he’s had his meniscus tidied up, so it will be weeks rather than months.

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“It will be four to eight weeks and it’s good-ish news for Lee and ourselves.”

Gavin Massey, Viv Solomon-Otabor and Harry McHugh are also on the unavailable list heading into the January transfer window.