Wigan Athletic skipper Sam Morsy admits he’s looking forward to be involved in this year’s Christmas programme after getting used to having his own winter break!
The 26-year-old will be back in the engine room for Saturday’s trip to League One strugglers Wimbledon, after being rested for Tuesday night’s FA Cup second-round replay against AFC Fylde.
Latics will be looking to extend their four-point lead at the top of the third tier by getting their festive schedule off to a flyer.
And Morsy is just happy to be involved at this time of year after disciplinary issues prevented him from doing so in the past.
“Up until last year, for three years running I missed the Christmas games due to suspension,” he told the Wigan Post.
“People were actually beginning to joke it was very convenient for me...getting time off at home with the family!
“One year I was sent off the week before Christmas, and the other two it was for an accumulation of bookings.
“It certainly wasn’t a deliberate ploy – sometimes that’s just how it happens – because you never want to miss out.
“The games over Christmas are always even more enjoyable to play in personally, especially on Boxing Day, and I’m looking forward to this year’s programme.”
Morsy has already had a run-in with the authorities this season, serving an automatic one-game ban in September for accruing five bookings in the first eight league games.
It led Latics boss Paul Cook to plea for referees to give the Egypt international some slack, feeling Morsy was being judged on his reputation rather than each individual incident.
“I can understand why the gaffer said that, because of some of the bookings I’ve received,” Morsy acknowledged.
“But you don’t want to ever play the victim.
“You’ve just got to get on with it, and maybe I’ve had to be a little bit smarter as well.
“Two of my bookings were handballs, which I found ridiculous.
“One of the others, at Charlton, was a blatant dive. I wasn’t even near him. I said to the ref: ‘He’s dived’, and out came the card!
“Don’t get me wrong, some of them have been bad tackles.
“Some of them have been for professional fouls, when a striker or a No.10 is breaking down the middle, sometimes you have to take one for the team.
“But I’d say four of the bookings have been ridiculous, and it is something I’m trying to avoid.
“You’re desperate to play any game, and anything that stops you from doing that is frustrating.”
Morsy certainly looks to have addressed the situation, having been booked only three times in 13 matches since his suspension – and no cards in his last six outings.
Next up for Latics is Saturday’s clash at Wimbledon, and Morsy is keen to pick up where they left off last weekend.
“The Fleetwood game was a great example of how this season is going,” he added.
“Without being disrespectful to Fleetwood, it was a comfortable game, and it felt comfortable playing in it.
“That’s been the case for the majority of games, and what we have to do now is guard against complacency.
“We’ve been quite good in that respect. We’ve managed games pretty well.”