Leam aiming to 'pay back' Wigan Athletic fans for backing
Leam Richardson has called on one last effort from his players – to ensure the big Wigan Athletic rebuild kicks-off in League One.
Despite four wins on the bounce, Latics still have a little bit of work to secure safety with their relegation rivals also finding form.
A win at home to Burton tomorrow could be enough to do it, depending on results elsewhere, with two matches to spare – at table-topping Hull and at home to rock-bottom Swindon.
And Richardson – who is looking to celebrate being named the club’s full-time manager in style – hopes the feel-good factor will help his side over the line as quickly as possible.
“If we can just get those points we need to stay in this division, the real rebuild can get going,” he said. “We can’t take anything for granted, we know we’ve got this challenge in front of us.
“But we know this club belongs back in the Championship, it really does, and hopefully I can be part of the journey to achieving us back there.
“I look around the DW Stadium, and I can see the great players and great managers who have plied their trade here to make this club what it is.
“I wouldn’t say the challenge is daunting. It’s far more exciting as I look ahead to the task.”
Richardson’s appointment has been greeted with universal approval by a fanbase who’ve appreciated his efforts – and those of Gregor Rioch, Peter Murphy and the rest of the staff – in steering the ship through the choppiest waters imaginable.
And the 41-year-old admits his number one aim is to repay the faith and support shown in him from the supporters, and take the club back where it belongs.
“It’s a cliche, but I have to say one of the main reasons I’m standing here is because of the fans,” Richardson acknowledged.
“The way they’ve supported me during my time here...I’ve felt unbelievably supported during the last year or so in adverse circumstances.
“They were a big factor in me taking the job, and wanting to pay them back for that support.
“We’re not stupid – it is going to be a rebuild, it’s not going to happen overnight.
“There’s a lot of good, strong clubs in the EFL, and it’s up to us to come together as a club, as a town, as a group, to try and compete with them.
“We know where we are and where we deserve to be in the football pyramid.
“And it’s up to us to rebuild, rethink and remodel the football club.”