Boyce raring to go in Championship

Rakish Bingham and Emmerson Boyce (right)
Rakish Bingham and Emmerson Boyce (right)

EMMERSON Boyce admits he’s relishing the games coming thick and fast ahead of the new campaign.

Latics are back in action tonight when they face the short trip north to face League Two outfit Morecambe.

It’s only 48 hours since Latics saw off high-flying Greek side Atromitos at the Leigh Sports Village, with Dundee United due at the DW on Saturday to round off a hectic week.

The schedule follows on from a 10-day American training camp when Latics faced three local sides and kicked-off their pre-season programme with a trio of victories.

But Boyce insists no-one in the squad is complaining about the gruelling schedule – because it beats the even-more-daunting alternative.

“The games are coming thick and fast at the moment but it’s also enjoyable,” Boyce told the Evening Post.

“As a player you just want to get out there and play – even when it’s three games in a week.

“It’s better than the alternative anyway – which is running, running and more running in training!”

Boyce also says the chance to get out there on the field is helping the bedding-in process for all of Wigan’s new summer signings.

“You can train all you want but it’s only by playing that you get that match fitness that is so important,” Boyce acknowledged.

“It’s also a good way of making sure the team is gelling.

“We’ve got a lot of new faces about the place and we’re learning a lot about each other.

“The team looks good, the squad is really shaping up and we just can’t wait for the season to start.

“The signs are good. We’re playing well, scoring a lot of goals and the only thing now is to maybe stop conceding as many goals.” Boyce sat out Monday night’s 2-1 victory over Atromitis, although he was there at the Leigh Sports Village to see Jordi Gomez and Marc-Antoine Fortune ensure Latics kept up their 100 per cent record under Owen Coyle.

“My knee was a bit sore from our last tour game on Friday on the astroturf, so I sat out Monday night as a precaution,” he explained.

“I trained all right yesterday, though, and I’m aiming to be involved at Morecambe.

“We’re all looking forward to the game and hopefully we can maintain our winning ways.”

It will be Boyce’s first visit to the Globe Arena, and he says the clash will be an important step on the road to the big kick-off at Barnsley on August 3.

“It’ll be different from America anyway!” Boyce smiled.

“Seriously it’ll be another tough test for us, because they’ll be well up for it and wanting to beat us.

“We’ve got to go there and be professional, and from a defensive point of view keep a clean sheet and take it from there.”

Boss Coyle admits he’ll shuffle his pack for tonight’s game, which is Wigan’s penultimate hit-out ahead of the new season.

That should mean starts for the likes of James McArthur, James McCarthy, Grant Holt, Nouha Dicko and Stephen Crainey, who all made second-half substitute appearances against Atromitos on Monday night.

“We’ll completely reshuffle for Morecambe on Wednesday night,” Coyle revealed.

“A number of the boys who started on Monday night will revert to the bench and vice-versa, which will mean hopefully Boycey and Shaun Maloney will be among the starters.

“It’s important to freshen up where possible, and try to give every single player as much game-time ahead of the Barnsley game on August 3, which of course is the all-important one for us.”