Boyce delighted to reach milestone

Emmerson Boyce
Emmerson Boyce

EMMERSON Boyce was delighted to mark another personal milestone in style at the weekend.

The 34-year-old made his 200th league start for Latics as the side concluded a gruelling week at Yeovil.

A clean sheet and three points was the perfect way to celebrate for Boyce, Wigan’s longest-serving outfield player and holder of the club record for Premier League appearances.

“It was a big day for me personally, to bring up the 200,” Boyce said.

“It’s a great feeling, especially to celebrate in style with the three points.

“I’ve enjoyed every single minute of my time here – from the first game to the 200th.

“There have been many ups and downs, but I’ve never regretted for one minute my decision to come here.”

It’s been an eventful week for Latics, who won back-to-back games in the league for the first time this season either side of the Europa League trip to Russia, when they lost 1-0 to Rubin Kazan.

“There have been a lot of games in a short period of time, you end up losing track of the days sometimes,” Boyce acknowledged.

“But being involved in the Europa League as well as the Championship is a great challenge, and it’s what you need to keep you hungry as a player.

“The more games we play, the less training we do so there’s a nice little bonus for us as well. Obviously a lot of players are away on international duty now, but it’s a good opportunity for the rest of the players to rest.

“We’ve got some big tests coming up and we need to be as ready as we can be for that.”

The international break is also a good opportunity for Wigan’s walking wounded to continue their rehabilitation.

Goalkeeper Scott Carson has missed the last five matches after turning his ankle in the warm-up at Charlton last month.

However, his gloves have been superbly filled by Lee Nicholls, and Boyce admits the youngster has taken to first-team football like a duck to water.

“Lee’s chance has probably come quicker than he thought, but he’s taken it with both hands,” Boyce added.

“He hasn’t made any mistakes, he’s commanded his box very well and you can’t argue with three clean sheet in five games.

“‘Cars’ is going to have a fight on his hands to get back in the side when he regains full fitness. The manager wants competition for places, and all you can do as a player is train well and take your chance when it comes. It’s a nice position to be in.”