UWE Rosler reckons the floodgates will open for Nicky Maynard now the striker has rediscovered his shooting boots.
Maynard opened his goalscoring account for Latics in the midweek win at Sheffield Wednesday with a deadly finish into the bottom corner of the net on the half-hour mark.
The 27-year-old was claiming a second goal shortly after, although there remains some doubt whether he got a touch to Martyn Waghorn’s inswinging corner to make it 2-0.
It’s little wonder Maynard was keen to claim the double – prior to Tuesday night, the on-loan Cardiff striker’s last league goal came back in May 2012 for West Ham, ironically against Cardiff.
Maynard has suffered with injury during the last two seasons, but Rosler is confident he has turned the corner.
“I was delighted for Nicky to get his goal – or goals – on Tuesday night,” said the Wigan boss. “He has now reached a level of fitness that he can last for the 90 minutes in difficult conditions.
“Everyone could see that at Sheffield – the pitch was very heavy, it took a lot out of all our players, but Nicky looked sharp throughout and deserved his rewards.
“We have been trying to find a way to get him on the scoresheet, and on Tuesday night we found it by playing Martyn Waghorn much closer to him.
“Nicky is upbeat, Martyn is upbeat, and the whole team is upbeat. We’re all enjoying our football at the moment.”
Having seen his career stagnate in Cardiff, Maynard jumped at the chance to join Latics until the end of the season.
It remains to be seen whether he has a future in South Wales following the arrival of new boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, but Rosler is refusing to look too far ahead.
“It’s far too early to talk about what may or may not happen in the summer,” added Rosler.
“I said from day one that Nicky needs time, and I spoke to both him and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer about that. We were all in agreement about what we are trying to achieve with this loan spell.
“Nicky is very patient and has put in a lot of hard work on the training ground.
“In most cases that has been more than anyone else, because he has had to play catch-up after not playing for such a long time.
“I always said that in the end he would get his rewards, and on Tuesday night that process started.
“It will have done his confidence the world of good, and that is incredibly important.
“I cannot talk about the future, but I can say that I am enjoying working with him.
“I told the chairman when we signed him that Nicky can be a very important player for us in terms of giving us the goals we need, and he is proving me right.”
Rosler will get the opportunity to update Solskjaer on Maynard’s progress when the two sides do battle in the FA Cup fifth round tomorrow.
Maynard, however, will not be involved as he is cup-tied.