McClean impresses new team-mates

James McClean
James McClean

JAMES McClean has been welcomed to Wigan with open arms after an impressive debut perfomance in the Community Shield match against Manchester United on Sunday.

The winger was given glowing endorsements by a number of his new teammates, as well as his manager, after the game, which Wigan lost 2-0.

Latics struggled to break down the champions but McClean was one player who stretched their defence.

It was a pleasing sight to his teammates who only met him for the first time on Thursday.

Skipper Emmerson Boyce believes acquiring a player of McClean’s talent shows Wigan’s intent this season.

He said: “James McClean is a quality player, and it shows the direction of the club that we’re able to attract a player like that in the Championship.

“He’s going to be an asset for us this season and the squad is looking very strong ahead of what we know will be a long season.

“Teams will be looking at our team sheet the same way we used to look at top Premier League clubs’ team sheets and know they’re in for a struggle because the number of big players there.

“That’s what it’s going to be like but we need to translate those big players into big performances and get back into the Premier League as quickly as possible.”

Another person to sing McClean’s praises was his fellow midfielder Shaun Maloney.

The Scot believes the former Sunderland player will settle in at the DW Stadium quite quickly, much like the rest of the new additions.

“James did well in his first game,” said Maloney. “We’ve signed about 10 players and they may take a while to settle in.

“I think, in fairness, we are quite a tight group, we’ve spent a lot of pre-season together, I don’t think you get too much time to settle in in this game, you hit the ground running.”

Club captain Gary Caldwell watched on from the sidelines due to injury and joined the list of admirers for McClean.

He added: “He looks very direct, a real threat going forward, he’s got great legs and energy up and down so I’m sure he’ll be a real asset to us.

“Everyone has been really encouraged with the signings we’ve made.

“The group has really kind of got together and you can see a real team spirit building.”

Of course the man who McClean really needs to impress is his manager Owen Coyle.

The Irish international endured a rocky climax to his career and Sunderland but the Latics boss reckons he’s ready to kick on with his career.

“I was very pleased with his contribution,” said Coyle.

“I met him at length and he wants to focus on his football, which I think is what all young footballers should want.

“I think he recognises one or two things never went his way but he is focused and he showed he is a real threat, he’s pleasing on the eye, gets crosses in, he could have scored and I think he caused them problems.”