UWE Rosler has backed Oriol Riera to be Wigan Athletic’s fox in the box next season.
And he has challenged his creative players to provide the ammunition for Riera to fire Latics back into the Premier League.
Latics, who today revealed their new away kit, will need to find added goalpower from somewhere to compensate for the loss of Nick Powell and Jordi Gomez, last year’s leading goalscorers, who have both moved on to pastures new.
It’s hoped Riera will help to fill that gap – and then some – after joining Latics from Osasuna last month.
Big things are expected of the striker who bagged 13 goals in La Liga last term – including a brace against eventual Champions League winners Real Madrid.
Latics haven’t had a 20-goal a-season striker since the heady days of Nathan Ellington (24) and Jason Roberts (21) in their promotion-winning campaign of 2004/5.
But Rosler believes Riera possesses all the attributes to be a massive success here in England.
“For me, I’m just really looking forward to the season and seeing how he does in his first season here, ” Rosler told the Evening Post.
“Oriol is a good player but he also needs service – and the team has to provide him with good service.
“For his part, he has to show good movement and work on having that good understanding with his team-mates.
“That is crucial, because Oriol scores the majority of his goals in the box.
“And there is where we have been lacking, because last year we didn’t really have that poacher.
“We just need to get the ball into the box and, to be fair, last year that wasn’t really a problem with us.
“We had a lot of balls going into the area and a lot of momentum in and around the box, and hopefully we can make sure that’s the case again with Oriol on hand to take advantage.”
Riera has shown some nice touches during his pre-season appearances, and Rosler believes the Wigan fans will be in for a treat when he fully settles into life at the club.
“He is still adjusting to the English game in terms of training and games,” the Latics chief added.
“But with each day that passes you can see it’s coming, it’s coming.
“Against Besiktas everyone could see the quality that he has.
“I didn’t play him against Rochdale because of the injury situation, and I didn’t want to take any chances.
“But he’s looking good, and I think we will see big benefits from him throughout the season.”
Riera will be part of the Latics squad that jets out tomorrow for their second summer training camp in Germany.