Perfect venue for Grigg to burn rivals
Will Grigg didn't waste long in catching fire '“ and making national headlines '“ on his return from injury.
The Wigan Athletic striker only made his return from five months out with a knee problem at Grimsby on Saturday.
But his five-goal cameo off the bench at Chorley in midweek – albeit against a rather youthful-looking opposition – saw him back among the headlines.
And the 26-year-old says he’s champing at the bit to be involved in Saturday’s season–opener at MK Dons.
If you needed any other omens, Grigg has 18 goals in his 29 games at Stadium:MK, most of which came during a goal-den loan spell three years ago.
“To be honest, even before I played for them, it was always a nice scoring ground for me,” he told the Wigan Post.
“I’d love to be able to go back there and be in the starting line-up, but we’ll have to wait and see.
“It’s just good to be back playing football, and scoring goals.
“It’s feeling really good at the moment – I haven’t really had any kind of reaction of that type.
“It’s just been about getting minutes into my legs.
“Training’s been going well and it’s all about match sharpness now.
“I’ll certainly be telling the manager I’m available for selection and I feel ready enough.
“The ball’s in his court as far as I’m concerned.” Having won promotion from this level on three separate occasions – and having hit the 20-goal mark on three occasions – Grigg will clearly be a key player for Latics as they seek to regain their Championship status at the first attempt.
And he clearly has the confidence – without a shade of arrogance – of a man with total belief in his own ability to find the net.
“Yep it’s going to be easy, I’ll just jog out there and score another 20 goals and we’ll get promoted again,” he said.
“No, seriously, it’s going to be a lot of hard work, but I’ve done it before and I know what to do.
“I’m sure it’ll be harder than ever to do it this season, but that has to be the aim.
“No matter what team you are, what league you’re in, you’re just looking for a good start.
“You’re looking to build as much confidence as possible to get you up near the top of the table.”
The return of Grigg has helped to offset the loss from the squad of Omar Bogle, Max Power and Jack Byrne, who have been transfer-listed and removed from the first-team squad.
Grigg, though, insists the focus at the club remains firmly on getting off to a flyer at the weekend.
“It’s one of those, you just have to cut everything else out, and get on with your football,” he added.
“We’re all professional footballers, this kind of thing comes with the territory.
“The only thing we can do is to concentrate on what happens on the pitch during that 90 minutes – and that’s all we’re focusing on.
“Looking at the squad we’ve got, we haven’t got 11 or 15, we’ve got a whole squad who are capable of coming into the side and playing well.
“It keeps everyone on their toes, it gives the manager problems, and it keeps everyone working at that 100 per cent level.
“The manager’s been great since he’s come in.
“He’s told the boys what he wants, when he wants it, and he’s definitely keeping the boys on their toes.
“He’s had a great reaction from the staff, all the staff have been brilliant as well, and it’s only a positive for the club.”