Wigan Athletic goal hero acknowledges debt of gratitude
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The 25-year-old forward - who was made vice-captain by Shaun Maloney over the summer - scored his second goal in four days as Latics beat Shrewsbury on Saturday, to make it three league wins in the space of a week.
Prior to that, he'd gone more than a year since finding the net in the league, since his winner in the 2-1 Championship victory at Huddersfield back in September 2022.
Throw in a recent suspension for an unjust red card – for two ‘bookable’ offences – at Stevenage earlier this month, and it was little wonder Lang clearly enjoyed the goal celebrations at the weekend.
And no-one has been more frustrated than the player himself, who is hammering on the door for a return to the starting XI after two crucial cameos off the bench.
"Football's my life," said Academy graduate Lang, who is the longest serving player on the books at the DW.
"And when things are not going well, I do take it home with me - especially the last few weeks and months.
"My family has been great with me, in helping me with that side of things.
"They were here again today, and it was nice to see them in the crowd and share that with them."
It was Lang's second exuberant goal celebration in four days, after his match-winning free-kick against Oxford in midweek saw him make a beeline to a young fan in the West Stand, with whom he's struck up a friendship following a training ground visit.
"Obviously I've got a really good connection with Alfie, he's a really nice kid," added Lang, who honoured a promise to perform a cartwheel following that midweek goal.
"For me to be in a privileged position, where somebody comes along to the training ground and - no matter how tough a time they're going through - I can put a smile on their face, that means the world.
"I know I'm very lucky to be in this position, and I just want to do what I can.
"When things aren't going as well as they could be on the pitch, and I get frustrated, things like this put things into perspective.
"He's got so much energy, he's always got a smile on his face, and he asked me to do a celebration for him if I scored.
"I think that's why I have been getting even more frustrated in recent games, because I've been trying to do that celebration for him for ages!
"He couldn't be here today because he's in hospital, but I've just facetimed him, which was nice, it was great to catch up.
"Hopefully we can get him back at the training ground soon, and maybe we can work out the next goal celebration.
"I'm hoping the cartwheel was a one-off celebration, because my back is still in bits after the last one!"