Preview: Oldham Athletic v Wigan Athletic

Leam Richardson will send his Wigan Athletic side out for their first pre-season friendly at Oldham this afternoon – with both eyes firmly focused on the trip to Sunderland in three weeks’ time.

Saturday, 17th July 2021, 9:26 am
Updated Saturday, 17th July 2021, 9:30 am
Leam Richardson

The new-look Latics squad yesterday returned from a short training camp in Scotland, and will take to the field for the first time this summer at Boundary Park.

But Richardson is placing little or no importance on what happens on the field – only the fitness stats and numbers that will be generated.

“It’s all about the minutes at this time of year, never about the results,” Richardson told the Wigan Post.

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“Obviously everyone likes to win, and to perform well, but it’s more about ticking those days off so you’re getting to the starting blocks in the best shape possible.

“So far, the lads have been training extremely hard, extremely well, and we’re in good shape going into the games.

“We managed to get a lot of good work in during the trip to Scotland – both on and off the pitch. It’s been great.”

It’s less than 10 weeks since Latics drew a line under last season – which saw them pull off the greatest of Great Escapes against all the odds.

And with the club in the middle of a massive rebuild – on and off the field – Richardson admits the last few weeks have been an absolute blur.

“I’ve no idea where summer’s gone, it seems less than five minutes since the end of last season,” he added.

“I feel like my kids have had a couple of birthdays since I last saw them!

“I don’t think I’ve had a day off for about 18 months or so, but I hope I don’t get one for another 18 months, because it’s exciting ‘busy’.

“Thankfully I’ve got an understanding wife, and she’s letting me get on with it.”

Meanwhile, former Latics forward Anthony Pilkington has joined League One rivals Fleetwood on a 12-month deal.

The 33-year-old returns to the UK after a year in India alongside Danny Fox at Robbie Fowler’s SC East Bengal.

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