Leam Richardson 'knows how to get best out of Wigan Athletic' - Will Keane
Wigan Athletic’s players will all have an extra spring in their step for the run-in after seeing Leam Richardson handed the managerial job on a full-time basis.
That’s according to Will Keane, who says the first decision taken by Phoenix 2021 Limited since taking over will prove to be a very shrewd one.
“All the lads are really pleased to see Leam will be staying on,” he said.
“He’s done such a great job this season in difficult circumstances, and I think it’s thoroughly deserved.
“He’s shown his loyalty to the club, he’s obviously been here for a few seasons, and he’s done everything he can to steady the ship.
“Especially in January he was working tirelessly to keep people at the club and attract new players, in the hope things would improve off the field.
"Hopefully the club now has that stability in terms of the new owners, and Leam can lead us forward into better times.”
Having joined Latics last summer as a free agent, before extending his stay in January, Keane has seen first hand the development from Richardson the No.2 thrust into the hotseat after the departure of Paul Cook, to the man charged with leading the club forward into the new era.
Not that much has changed in terms of his manner.
“In my experience, he’s the same Leam as he was when I arrived at the start of the season,” revealed Keane.
“He’s even been stressing that, the feeling of ‘business as usual’, and not wanting to change too much of what he’s been doing.
“I’ve only ever seen Leam as ‘the gaffer’ since I’ve been here, and I don’t expect to see much change now he has been confirmed as the full-time manager.
“He knows how to get the best out of us, in understanding each other’s roles, and it’s just a case now of finishing the season as strongly as possible and taking it from there.”
Keane also says it’s a huge statement of intent from the club to ward off interest from Ipswich – and Cook – in retaining Richardson’s services.
“It’s huge for this club to be able to keep him here,” he added. “Obviously there was plenty of speculation linking him with Ipswich, and I’m sure there would have been a position there for him.
“In many ways that could have been an easy option for him, to go back to what he knows in familiar company.
"But at the same time this is a massive opportunity for him at a big club, and having done so well up to now it’s something he deserves a shot at.”
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