Bramble wins four awards

Titus Bramble was the big winner at Wigan Athletic's annual player of the year dinner staged last night.

The centre-half picked up four awards in the black-tie event at the JJB Stadium, the unanimous choice of the fans, his team-mates and the media as the club's outstanding performer this season.

Bramble won the player of the year award which was voted for by the fans, lifted the players' player of the year trophy and was named the best player in away games.

He was also the choice of the local media, the quartet of awards adding to the JJ's player of the year award presented to him earlier in the month by Latics' young fans.

This season the 27-year-old has played in all but three of Latics' league games, helping them to the ninth-best defensive record in the Premier League.

Bramble is set to sign a new long-term contract soon, with his current deal about to enter its final year.

Latics boss Steve Bruce told the Evening Post: "Titus has had a very good season. He has been terrific.

"The boy has been instrumental in what we have done this year and he deserves the plaudits for that.

"Titus has had his critics in the past but his performances on the pitch this season have been there for all to see."

Lee Cattermole won the young player of the year award, the

21-year-old having skippered the side at times in an impressive first season with the club.

Meanwhile, Amr Zaki is ready to go public with his thoughts on his eventful season with Latics.

The striker will hold a press conference in Egypt tomorrow morning after his loan spell at the JJB came to an abrupt end.

It's likely to be a rather one-sided version of events as to why he

didn't score after December 28

and his repeated late returns from international duty.

Zaki's representatives have been claiming this week it was the player who called time on his stay at Latics, rather than Bruce making that

decision.

And they say he's generating plenty of interest from other clubs in this country and abroad, with Aston Villa, Marseille and Valencia

allegedly among them.

But Bruce is sceptical whether Zaki will be back in the Premier League next season and insists it was his call not to extend the

striker's stay.

He said: "It was going to be very difficult for me to make his move permanent with what happened.

"Coming back late from Egypt once you could forgive, maybe twice, but four or five times was just ridiculous. If everyone had done that it would have anarchy.

"Other players were getting themselves back from Honduras and Ecuador on time, so in the end I had no option but to do what I did.

"My mind was made up for quite a few weeks about Zaki. It's a shame what has happened. One of the problems is that Zaki has a guy, Mohammed Saied, who advises him.

"His actual agent is Nader Shawqi, who has been very honourable and respectful through all this. But Saied fills Zaki's head with nonsense, absolute nonsense.

"I read some quotes from him this week that Zaki is the one who didn't want to stay here and he has four more Premier League clubs

interested in him. Well, let's see.

"Six months ago it was Real Madrid supposedly interested, then it was Liverpool.

"At the end of the day, the player has to look after himself and I found Zaki's behaviour at the end unacceptable."