Mac keen to start

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YOUNG Latics starlet Callum McManaman has sent a strong message to boss Roberto Martinez - “I’m here!”

The 19-year-old striker has made three starts in the FA Cup this season as well as another three from the bench in the league.

And with the season now entering its business end, he wants his manager to know that he is always available in the hunt for goals.

“We’ve got a lot of options up front, everyone’s fit too so competition is fierce,” said McManaman.

“But I’m dying to get back involved with the first team and if I keep working hard, hopefully that chance will come.”

“It’s been a great season for me personally and I’ve enjoyed every minute of it.

“It goes to show that if you work hard and perform well in the reserve team then the gaffer will give you your chance.

“To have got the chance to prove myself is fantastic, I hope I’ve proved I can contribute to the team and now I’ll keep working hard to earn more opportunities.”

McManaman, the younger cousin of Liverpool legend Steve, scored his first goal for the first team against Hull City in the FA Cup in January.

But he has been the reserve team’s most prized asset this season and showed just that when they took on Arsenal this week.

The youngster scored the opener at Robin Park on Tuesday, scoring past veteran ‘keeper Jens Lehmann, who endured a nightmare afternoon.

He then went on to set up Joe Holt as Latics saw the game out as 2-1 winners.

He said: “I’m made up to score the goal and set the second up but most of all for the team to get he right result we needed.

“We deserved something against Chelsea last week and we’ve done the same again and got the result we needed and the goals we needed.”

Next up for the reserves is a trip to Everton next Tuesday; one which McManaman and most of his teammates have pinpointed as one to look out for due to their Merseyside roots.

“A lot of the lads are scousers so they’re made up to be playing against Everton,” he smiled.

“There are only a few games left so get a few wins under our belts and see what happens!”

McManaman is a prime example of what Martinez wants to do with Wigan Athletic, as he aims to bring through as much young talent as possible.