James Beattie opens up on Wigan Athletic 'sacrifice'

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James Beattie has opened up on the remarkable 'sacrifice' he makes on a daily basis to be part of the Wigan Athletic rebuild.

The former Everton and England striker joined the backroom staff last summer as assistant manager alongside Rob Kelly.

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Having come through the ranks at Blackburn with Leam Richardson - under the watchful eye of Kelly - he jumped at the chance of a reunion.

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James BeattieJames Beattie
James Beattie

But not many will be aware of the ramifications of Beattie's decision, with his family remaining on the south coast, where he spent the majority of his playing career.

"I do miss my family, my family are still down in Southampton," he told Wigan Today.

"It's a sacrifice that I choose to make, it's my choice to come up here to work with these lads.

"And they've all made it really pleasurable for me to do that.

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"They make me want to get up at 4am and make the long drive up to work.

"I look forward to coming through the gates at Christopher Park and getting my teeth into it.

"The lads put a smile on my face with the way they respond, and I want to help each and every one of them fulfill their potential."

Ironically, the 44-year-old's first step into management back in 2013 saw him succeed his old pal Richardson as Accrington Stanley boss.

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After 16 months there, he coached under Garry Monk at Swansea, Leeds, Middlesbrough, Birmingham and Sheffield Wednesday, before reuniting with Richardson at the DW.

Hailing from Lancaster, it's been a welcome return to the north west - on and off the field.

"I've really enjoyed my time here first and foremost," he acknowledged. "And obviously I owe a lot to Leam and the club for bringing me in.

"I came in for a few days towards the end of last season, when they were in administration, and it went from there.

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"I've known Leam for a number of years, we were YTS's at Blackburn way back when, coached by Rob Kelly, who we've also known all that time.

"The team he's out together in terms of backroom staff has been great, it's made the whole time here really enjoyable.

"And the squad he's put together - from having four players at the start of last summer - has been incredible.

"Obviously Leam's been a No.2 for a long time, but I've been really impressed by his managerial skills as a No.1.

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"The way he goes about it, there's a lot of similarities with how I'd go about it.

"We have great debates, great conversations about team selections, that sort of stuff.

"But whatever decision the gaffer makes, he knows that when we leave that room, we're all 100 per cent all going in the same direction.

"The lads can see that, they all have that trust in him, which takes you a long way."