Wigan Athletic chief's 'little bit extra' motivation to beat Bolton Wanderers

Leam Richardson is the first to acknowledge that this weekend's derby between Wigan Athletic and Bolton Wanderers 'means a little bit extra'.

Not just because of the local bragging rights up for grabs, or the top spot in League One that Latics can claim with a win.

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Having started his playing career at the then-Reebok Stadium, Richardson has added incentive to secure a result on Saturday.

Leam Richardson

"It'll be like any derby - a healthy challenge, competitive, a great experience for the fans and the players," he said.

"On a personal note, it means an extra little bit to me, because I've enjoyed time with both clubs now.

"I was successful during my time at Bolton...however small or big people thought my role was, we were promoted to the Premier League.

"I met some fantastic people there, who I still consider good friends.

"But I'm at Wigan now, still trying to do as well as I can do, and make those small steps towards where we would like to be as well."

Ian Evatt's Wanderers have sold out their 4,000 allocation, while there will also be a bumper home contingent in the other three stands.

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With both clubs in good form, the dinnertime kick-off should be full of thrills and spills.

"For the fans, it's a fantastic game, two fantastic clubs going very well, which bodes for a very competitive game," Richardson acknowledged.

"From our point of view, it's another game where we're trying to focus on ourselves, and be as competitive as we can be.

"Ian's obviously been backed quite heavily in January, and they managed to bring a couple of players in.

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"They have a wealth of players in the squad, which is no surprise given the football club they are."

Latics have Callum Lang back from a two-game suspension but, with Latics having won both games without him, Richardson has plenty to ponder.

"It's no secret we've had our bumps and bruises this year," he added.

"You look at Charlie Wyke, Jordan Cousins, Thelo Aasgaard, Tom Naylor was out for a while, we've also had a few suspensions...as have a lot of teams.

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"But all we can do is keep looking forward, the next game is always the most important one, we'll look at who's available for selection and take it from there."