My 'hardest job' as Wigan Athletic manager

Finding a way of introducing new signings into a settled formula is Leam Richardson's 'hardest job' as Wigan Athletic manager.
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So says the man himself, who is torn between giving his summer arrivals a chance, while also being loyal to the players who dragged the club up from League One last term.

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"We've got huge competition for places here, which is what you always want," he said.

Leam RichardsonLeam Richardson
Leam Richardson
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"You've also got to be mindful of the fact that most of these lads have just won a league title, and have been very competitive in the Championship so far.

"I'm also mindful of the lads who have come in, who are also desperate to show what they can do.

"If I could pick 28 of them every week, I would.

"I've found as a manager the hardest job is to only pick 11 players to start every game, and have 11 players on at any one time.

"You'll probably find at every single club up and down the country that the best ideas are the ones the manager hasn't tried.

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"All you can do is try and make the right calls for the right reasons.

Richardson made five changes to his starting line-up for the visit of Cardiff on Saturday, throwing on new-boys Nathan Broadhead and Athony Scully in the closing stages.

"From getting in at 2am on Thursday after Hull, to being in on Friday, to getting ready for a massive game on Friday, it was a necessary move," he explained.

"There were a few injuries, a few people carrying things, some players have a history of playing a number of games in a row and having an issue.

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"All the departments at the club got involved, we had input from the sports science guys who had their say.

"I thought it was important we put energy into the team, we've got a squad here and it's a 46-game campaign we're dealing with."

Richardson will need every member of his squad over the coming weeks, with a dozen matches to negotiate in the space of just 42 days before the break for the World Cup.