Scharner in at deep end

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PAUL Scharner has probably enjoyed this international break more than most.

That’s because the maverick Austrian has already played more football during his short time back at Latics than he did during the whole of 2012!

Scharner rejoined Latics from Hamburg during the January transfer window to get some much-needed match fitness under his belt.

In half a season with the Bundesliga outfit, he’d managed just four appearances – three as a substitute totalling 11 minutes, and a solitary start that was ruined somewhat by a 35th-minute red card.

The final six months of Scharner’s time with West Brom was only marginally better, with just four full appearances to his name.

All of which meant being thrown into the deep end at Wigan came as something of a shock to the system.

“Last week was a recovery week for the players, and it was good for me,” Scharner told the Evening Post.

“After seven games in the space of just five weeks here, my body probably needed a little breather.

“If you compare my workload with last year, it is incredible. In the whole of 2012, I played hardly any full matches.

“Already in 2013 I have played seven games in five weeks, and that workload is always going to take some adapting to.

“But I always try to make sure I am 100 per cent ready to play football, and this international break will hopefully help me to do that.”

Scharner turned 33 earlier this month, but he is adamant there is plenty of football left in him.

“I wouldn’t like to put a figure on it, but my own target is to play for a few more years yet,” he revealed.

“Where that will be, I don’t know.

“But it’s not the right time to be speaking about my future, to be honest.

“I am totally focused on the matches between now and the end of the season, and nothing else. Of course I am very happy here at Wigan, but let’s get the next 11 matches out of the way before we talk about the other stuff.

“I am enjoying playing 90 minutes every week, staying in the starting XI, and as long as that continues I will be happy.

“As a team we are desperate to build on the victory over Newcastle, because it proved we believe in ourselves and we are capable of fighting to the finish.

“The confidence is still growing, from the Everton game to the Newcastle game, and it means we can go out with big chests against Norwich.”

LATICS’ Development Squad beat Sheffield United 2-1, Guillermo Andres and Rakish Bingham on the mark.