James McClean on Wigan Athletic's 'Championship test'

James McClean admitted Sheffield Wednesday gave Wigan Athletic a real 'Championship' test in their final pre-season run-out on Saturday.
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Latics concluded their warm-up programme with a 4-1 victory over the Owls, with McClean scoring one and assisting another couple.

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But the Owls - who took the lead through Ben Heneghan - asked plenty of questions during an even first half, leaving McClean satisfied with the afternoon's work.

James McClean in action against Sheffield WednesdayJames McClean in action against Sheffield Wednesday
James McClean in action against Sheffield Wednesday
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“On paper, they are a Championship side with the players that they have got so it was a good test," he said.

"It was probably the closest that we are going to get to playing a Championship side in pre-season.

“There were spells where we had to be resolute in our structure, and they had a lot of the ball which is probably going to be the case at times in the Championship.

"We had to defend at times, but we also showed our threat on the break and the quality we have in the final third.

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“When we had our chances, we took them which is obviously pleasing.

"They beat us twice last year so to record the victory over them bodes well going into the season.”

McClean was Latics' stand-out player on the day and, having played his entire career in the top two tiers prior to moving to the DW last summer, he wants to continue to lead the side on their Championship return.

“Individually, it’s always nice to chip in with goals and assists because as a forward, your job is to do that," he said.

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“My role is to try and get as many goals and assists that I can to help the team so it’s always pleasing individually.

“If I’m going to do that more regularly next season then it goes towards the bigger picture in helping the team get results so that’s the aim.

“Winning football games is a nice feeling - and whether it’s friendlies or competitive games.

“Pre-season is pre-season...and I’ve been involved in sides where you’re unbeaten in pre-season and then don’t have the best start to a season.

“As much as it is pleasing, we will not get carried away. I think if we record a victory and start the season well next Saturday, that’s more important.”

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