'Wigan Athletic is my football home'

James McClean admits it’s been easy to rediscover his best form with Wigan Athletic – because it’s ‘my football home here across the water’.

Tuesday, 28th September 2021, 10:53 am
James McClean

The Ireland winger rejoined Latics from Stoke over the summer, six years after leaving for West Brom following relegation to League One.

He insisted Latics were the only club he’d have dropped into the third tier for, and his early-season form has shown there’s plenty more football in the 32-year-old’s legs.

“I’ve had the absolute perfect start,” he acknowledged. “To get off the mark early, and to win five games in a row has been pleasing, and we want to keep that going.

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“It’s been a perfect start, but it’s only a start. Personally, I want to get as many goals and assists as possible.

“If I am scoring and assisting, it’s obviously helping the team to win games as they go hand in hand together.

“We cannot get carried away as it’s early doors but, with the squad we have here, we expect ourselves to be successful this season.

“I’m not going to be shy from hiding away from the fact I believe we can be successful, and hopefully we are.”

Having enjoyed a difficult last 12 months at Stoke, McClean’s just happy to be back out there on the field again.

“It’s been a tough year for me as I wasn’t playing football, but now I’m back at a place where I know the club and the club knows me,” he added.

“The manager has a lot of confidence in me, which as a footballer is massive, so I’m enjoying it.

“That accumulated with winning games makes for a happy me and a happy place.

Wigan Athletic is my football home here across the water. The feeling I had here the first time around was great.

“To be honest, when I left, I didn’t think I’d be back again, so football is funny with how things work out.

“To be back here now, I am absolutely delighted and it’s the best club for me right now in my career because I want to enjoy my football again, and it seems that there is a good project going on here.

"People know what they want here. We want to be successful.”

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