Star youngster 'epitomises Wigan Athletic', insists Leam Richardson

Leam Richardson has hailed Kyle Joseph for ‘epitomising’ Wigan Athletic’s all-hands-to-the-pump approach to winning their survival fight.
Kyle JosephKyle Joseph
Kyle Joseph

The Scotland Under-19 striker was expected to miss the rest of the season after picking up a stress fracture of his back in January – a direct result of having been fast-tracked into the first team because of the situation.

But his tireless efforts behind the scenes saw him return to the bench last week, with late cameos against Crewe and Burton.

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And another 90-minute run-out for the Development Squad at Swansea on Tuesday has given boss Leam Richardson a timely nudge ahead of Saturday’s crunch clash at Hull.

“It’s been fantastic to see Kyle back in there,” enthused Richardson. “He’s worked fantastically hard with the medical staff to get himself back fit, and back on the pitch.

“He’s only been back training for a short time, but he’s a kid who just loves football.

“He epitomises this football club, and how well we want to be represented on and off the field.

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“We’re still going to have to manage him, because we’re very aware he’s coming off the back of a tough injury.

“But he is a young, fit guy who looks after himself off the field, and he’s desperate to play his part in the run-in.

“The physios, the medical staff and the doctors have helped him enormously to get to where he is now.

“It’s the first serious injury he’s possibly ever had, but it is hard to hold these lads back when all they want to do is get out there and burn off some energy.”

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Chris Merrie, Alex Perry and Adam Long also got 90 minutes under their belts in the Under-23s’ 2-0 defeat at Swansea.

The side also included a trio of trialists who are trying to earn themselves contracts for next season.

Meanwhile, a goal in either half from Levi Welsh and Sean McGurk gave Latics Under-18s a 2-1 victory at Crewe on Wednesday morning.

It means Latics are one win away from securing the Under-18 Professional Development League title for a second season in a row.

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Coach Kieran Driscoll, whose side travel to Watford on Saturday, said: “Hopefully we can build on this momentum and put on a performance that is more measurable of earlier on in the season.”

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