Alex Gilbey admits he can’t wait to get out on to the field at Southport tonight as Wigan Athletic continue their preparations for the new season.
Gilbey was the Latics goalscoring hero of the 1-1 draw against Prem ier League giants Liverpool last Friday night.
Every day they want us to better ourselves, and I think there’s some seriously exciting times ahead for the clubAlex Gilbey
And he says the Latics players will be equally as fired up to impress at Haig Avenue, with the Football League campaign now just 18 days away.
“Bring on all the games are far as I’m concerned,” Gilbey told the Wigan Post.
“For one, it stops us having to run around the training ground!
“For two, it gets match minutes into the legs, and that’s the fitness we’ll need come the start of the season.
“The gaffer’s been working us hard, but it’s been very fair, and it’s just what we’ve needed.
“It’s been enjoyable, especially the working on the shape, and it’s good to finally be able to put it to use in games.”
Gilbey experienced a mixed first season with Latics last term, missing six months with an ankle problem but impressing both at the start and the end of the campaign.
And he’s hoping better luck with injuries will enable him to post a much higher tally of goals from midfield.
“It was a nice way to start the season, with a goal against Liverpool,” he acknowledged.
“And I know I need to get more goals from midfield.
“Obviously first of all I need to stay fit and get games under my belt.
“I’ve worked so hard in the off-season, and I’ve come back fit and strong and ready to go.
“What I need to do is put together a run of games, and hopefully the goals will follow.
“But the main thing at the moment is getting minutes into legs.
“The level of the opposition was massive, they had all their top players out, but it was good for us to be able to work on our shape and put things into practice.”
Gilbey has just celebrated his first anniversary as a Latics player, but he is already on his fourth manager, with Paul Cook for a better return than predecessors Gary Caldwell, Warren Joyce and Graham Barrow managed last term.
And Gilbey says the new man has managed to impress the players during his first month in the job.
“The first day the gaffer came in he told us to forget all about what happened last season,” Gilbey added.
“Obviously it’s hard to come in on the back of a relegation, but the gaffer and his staff are really infectious.
“Every day they want us to better ourselves, and I think there’s some seriously exciting times ahead for the club.”