Hunt eyes progression for high-flying Latics

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Noel Hunt says he is ready and waiting if Paul Cook wants to call him in to play a bigger role.

The former Portsmouth star has settled into a role off the bench, but started against Middlesbrough under-21s in Tuesday night’s 4-1 Checkatrade Trophy win, after coming on as a substitute in the previous three League One encounters.

And as well as notching his first Wigan goal in the win, the 34-year-old also took on the responsibility of guiding a clutch of youngsters through their first senior games.

“I’m feeling fit, I didn’t get used as much as I wanted in the second-half, I was moaning at the boys to switch it up a little bit,” he said after Tuesday’s win.

“We were going short an awful lot when we could have turned them.

“However it’s all part of learning the game. For me, and the whole, we’ve done really well.”

Hunt was pleased to get a starting slot, and a chance to stake a claim for a place in the side which will take on Blackburn tomorrow.

But he was just as pleased to see that the fixture allowed some of the club’s academy stars to show what they can do.

“It’s nice to start a couple of games, I’ve played a few before Blackburn,” he said.

“I think like the boys do, it’s important to have that feeling around the club of progression with the younger players. For me, it’s a big part of the game to create learning experiences to play here, as it’s an arena for them, and an arena for us, and it doesn’t matter who turns up, you have to perform.

“I thought they all did that tonight, I thought Victor (Maffeo) was excellent and got a great goal. Sniffers (Luke Burgess) did well too.”

Wigan could go top of League One with a win over Blackburn tomorrow if Shrewsbury fail to beat Peterborough.