Wigan Athletic boss salutes returning trio

Leam Richardson has saluted all three of his international stars on their return to Wigan Athletic.

Josh Magennis heads home Northern Ireland's late winner against Kosovo
Josh Magennis heads home Northern Ireland's late winner against Kosovo

Josh Magennis scored a crucial last-gasp winner for Northern Ireland against Kosovo over the weekend.

James McClean also won his 95th cap for the Republic of Ireland against Scotland.

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And although Curtis Tilt was an unused substitute for Jamaica against Lionel Messi and Argentina in New York, Richardson feels he will grow from the experience of rubbing shoulders with the elite.

Not that the Latics boss was happy when the big centre-back first reported back to Christopher Park.

"The biggest disappointment for me was that he brought me nothing back...no present, no duty free, nothing," Richardson laughed.

"But seriously, from the first time I met Curtis, at the time unable to get games at Rotherham, to being a small part of his journey which has taken him to the international stage, it's been a privilege.

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"It's great that he can go away and be part of a match against Argentina, and it's great to have him back in the group as well."

Richardson also feels striker Magennis will return from his international duty full of confidence and belief.

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"It was fantastic to see Josh popping up to score the winning goal for his country so late on," he said.

"There can't be too many better feelings in the game.

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"But to be fair, it's something he has been working on, his starting positions and his finishing positions.

"And it's nice to see that come to fruition on the international stage, because he works so hard at his game.

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"He's such a good character, an honest character, and someone you want representing your football club and your country."

The Latics chief is also unsurprised to see winger McClean still at the top of his game at the age of 33.

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"He'd play every day if he could, I'm sure he'd be up to 250 caps already if it was up to him," Richardson added.

"He plays the same whether it's his first cap or his 95th, and another great character to have around the place."