Wigan Athletic striker on Bolton 'admin' experience and his future
Joe Dodoo is proving a more than useful mid-season addition to the Wigan Athletic squad – on and off the pitch.
The 25-year-old marked his return to the starting line-up with the opening goal in Saturday’s win at Doncaster.
And he followed that up with a brace of assists in midweek as Latics came from behind to beat high-flying Sunderland at the DW.
Dodoo has also been able to find his feet despite the well-documented off-field problems at Wigan.
Which he was more than familiar with, having spent last year with Bolton, who were having to negotiate similarly choppy waters.
“It’s happened to me before, and it is a difficult situation,” he said.
“Nothing was really a surprise, because I’d already seen what it was like at Bolton – both on and off the pitch.
“It didn’t really faze me – as a professional, all you can do is get on with your job.
“And everyone at the club has their own job to do.
“As players, your job is on the pitch and that’s what you can do to help.
“All you can do is go into it with the mentality of wanting to succeed and see where it takes you.
“I like a challenge, and this one has been difficult – as it was last year. It’s a situation you probably wish you weren’t it, but that’s life.
“It is what it is, you can only play the cards you’re dealt.
“All you can do is your best for the team and the club.”
While Bolton were unable to avoid dropping into the fourth tier, Latics have given themselves a fighting chance of hanging on to their League One status.
And Dodoo says that is testament to the incredible work done over the last nine months by staff who have been unsure of their own long-term futures.
“The management and the staff have done a great job throughout this season in protecting the players from everything that’s been going on off the field,” he said.
“We’ve prepared right, we’re done everything right, and there’s been no issues dripping down into the dressing room.
“Everything’s been running as smoothly as you’d expect at any other club, we’ve not really been affected by what’s been going on.
“All the focus has just been on working as hard as we can to keep the club in this division.
“And I think you can see how determined everyone is to see the job out, and it’s worthy of a great deal of respect.”
With Latics having been successfully taken over, focus will inevitably switch to the future, and the issue of contracts beyond the end of the campaign.
Dodoo is one of several players whose futures are unclear at the moment, but it’s not something he’s losing any sleep over for now.
“We’ve not had any discussions about the future as yet,” he said. “Obviously the club’s just been taken over, and all that will start to become clearer over the next few weeks and months.
“As far as I’m concerned, it’s not something that’s been discussed.
“It’s all been about focusing on the next game, trying to win, and keeping this club in this division.
“That’s the only important thing at the moment, and that’s what we’re all firmly focused on.”
And Dodoo does not feel the feeling of uncertainty will affect any of the players in the run-in – with the focus being solely on making sure Wigan is a third-tier club next term.
“Regardless of your contract situation, you always try to do your job on a Saturday or a Tuesday to the best of your ability,” he added. “And that’s the way I’ve always approached it.
“You can’t be going into games thinking about next season, or putting yourself in a shop window, or anything like that.
“At the end of the day, I already have a contract, to the end of the season, and I need to do as well as I can to prove I was worth bringing here.
"First and foremost I need to do my job to the best of my ability.
“Then at the end of the season I can talk to my agent and decide what happens next.”