LIAM Ridgewell is returning to America with bitter-sweet memories of his time at Wigan Athletic.
The 30-year-old completed his six-week loan spell with Latics on a losing note courtesy of last Wednesday’s 3-0 defeat at Nottingham Forest.
Latics remain eight points adrift of safety with just 16 matches to go – starting tomorrow night at Reading.
Despite being unhappy with the way it finished, Ridgewell admits he thoroughly enjoyed his time at Wigan.
“That definitely wasn’t the way I wanted to end, but overall I’ve loved it here, it’s been really great,” he told the Evening Post.
“All the boys have been good, I’ve really been made to feel at home, and it’s a shame I couldn’t have done more to help the team.
“I’m sad to leave in the situation we’re in, because I would have liked to have stayed on to help, but it’s the situation I’m in.
“I’d just like to wish the boys all the best and hopefully they’re still in this division come the end of the season.”
Ridgewell joined Latics to work on his fitness ahead of the MLS season which gets underway at the start of next month.
And he reckons his time with Latics will enable him to hit the ground running when the matches come around - and an early clash against ex-Latic Shaun Maloney and his new Chicago Fire team.
“After I land I’ve got a couple of pre-season games - including one against Shaun - and then we start on March 7,” Ridgewell said.
“I’ve got a lot to improve on and learn from, and take into my new season.
“It’s a big season ahead, and we’re looking to do really well this season and build on last year.
“We’re hoping to reach the play-offs this time and there’s some really exciting times ahead.”
The MLS is growing in stature all the time, with world stars like Steven Gerrard and Kaka among those to recently decide to make the move States.
“I’m very glad I decided to go out there,” Ridgewell added.
“It’s been very refreshing for my career, and I’m looking forward to going back.
“The league is getting better all the time, and more and more British players are seeing it as a good career move, which is great.”