Wigan Athletic recruit can't wait for Sunderland 'reception'

Charlie Wyke in pre-season action against PrestonCharlie Wyke in pre-season action against Preston
Charlie Wyke in pre-season action against Preston
Charlie Wyke knows he’s in for a lively reception when he returns to Sunderland this weekend with Wigan Athletic.

The big striker scored 31 goals last season with the Black Cats, but turned down a new deal in search of a fresh challenge with Latics.

And the fixture computer couldn’t have written a better opening-day script with Wyke – and Max Power – returning to their old stomping ground.

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“There’s obviously no better start to the season for me and Max, going back to Sunderland,” Wyke told Wigan Today.

“I’m delighted to be at this club, and no matter who we were playing, my first game would be special.

“But this obviously adds that little bit of spice to it.

“They’ve been tipped to do well this season, probably one of the biggest clubs in the league.

“It is a tough start for us, but as a player you want to play in these games.

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“There’ll be around 35,000-40,000 people there, which will make for a fantastic atmosphere.

“That’ll mean there’s 35,000-40,000 people not on my side this time!

“But I’m just looking forward to it.”

A few eyebrows were raised when Wyke opted to join Latics, despite Championship offers on the table.

The 28-year-old, however, had no doubts.

“I know I’ve made the right decision coming here,” he said.

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“And I’ve really enjoyed the first few weeks here, the way we want to play suits my game perfectly.

“You look at the options we have up front – even some of the lads who haven’t featured in the games – and it bodes well for the season.

“We’ve got some serious options up top, and we just want to keep everyone fit and make sure there’s as many options open to the manager as possible.”

Wyke is also hoping to better his phenomenal tally from last season – with a little help from his team-mates.

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“Obviously last season was a wonderful one for me,” added Wyke, who is competing with fellow new-boy Stephen Humphrys, Callum Lang and Will Keane for a starting spot in the forward line.

“The ball was coming into the box from every angle, and I managed to get on the end of a lot and scored 30-odd goals.

“Hopefully it’ll be the same again this season, you always want to better yourself so that’s the aim.”

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