Noel in Hunt for goals - as and when!

Noel Hunt
Noel Hunt
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Noel Hunt admits he’s happy to continue playing a supporting role as long as it means Wigan Athletic are there at the end of the season when the awards are dished out.

The 34-year-old ex-Ireland striker followed Paul Cook from Portsmouth to Wigan over the summer, but has been restricted to just one league start to date.

Six of his eight appearances have come off the bench, with his other start coming in the Checkatrade Trophy.

But Hunt insists he’s not about to rock the boat with things going so well for the club in general.

“I can’t be complaining too much, because we’ve won 11 of 16 games so far, ” Hunt told the Wigan Post.

“And it’s not about individuals, it’s about the team, and doing the right things.

“If that’s me backing up the boys who are playing to do the job, to get the win, that’s what I’ll do.

“All that matters is the club getting back to where it should be.

“And if I can help in any way, shape or form, that’s the main thing.”

Having elected to team-up again with boss Cook at the DW, it’s clear there is a huge amount of mutual respect between the two men.

“I’ve know the gaffer for a couple of years, and he’s one of if not the best managers I’ve worked with,” Hunt enthused.

“I love the way he plays, the shape and style and the chemistry that brings it all together.

“Obviously you have to guard against that hangover from relegation, but to get the guys back smiling and getting used to winning again was a big thing.

“He’s just a very good man-manager, very honest with the players, and makes things simple.

“He gets the chemistry, that closeness, just right, and he has an instant impact of whichever room he walks into.

“He’s got very high standards, and hopefully he can continue to take this club up and up.”

Hunt is likely to be on the bench again for tomorrow’s visit of Bradford.

It’s Wigan’s first league game in three weeks, with the FA Cup and an international break acting as a speed-bump to their promotion push.

“I think we’ve benefited from the break,” Hunt remarked.

“The boys came back this week in good spirits, fresh, so whatever’s gone on it’s worked.

“There’s so much quality in this squad.

“You can go from Nathan Byrne at full back – who’s been, for me, my player of the season so far – all the way to Ivan (Toney)and (Will) Griggy up front.

“You’ve Powelly in behind them, with Crackers (Michael Jacobs), Robbo (Gary Roberts), Gav (Massey)... I could name the whole side!

“It’s such a good bunch, and we’re working hard for the same goal at the end of the season.

“It’s a fantastic club, you see pictures on the wall of the history and it really inspires you.

“The squad is really well-knit here – there’s no groups, no individuals, we’re all as one.

“It makes for a great working environment, and that can only breed success.”