Ivan wasn’t ‘The Terrible’, insists Leam!

Ivan Toney
Ivan Toney

Leam Richardson has laughed off suggestions the ‘handbags’ in the tunnel at the end of Wigan Athletic’s clash against Fleetwood on Saturday was in any way comparable to Sunday’s ‘Milkgate’ episode at Old Trafford that has made worldwide headlines.

While the nation is lapping up every last detail of the post-match spat involving Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho and various Manchester City staff, Richardson has dismissed the incident that occurred at the DW Stadium as a storm in a teacup.

There were suggestions on Saturday evening that a Latics player had been head-butted either just before or just after the final whistle.

Richardson, though, insists it was no big deal.

“It was just Ivan Toney and Nathan Pond – a centre-forward against a centre-half – coming together,” revealed Richardson.

“I don’t think there was much in it, they were laughing about it in the dressing room after.

“It’s one of those where they wait for a group to come around them and then they start pushing and shoving rather than getting on with it themselves.

“That’s what can happen when there’s big personalities involved.

“You’re playing against senior players, and senior players want to win.

“Now and again it can get like that, but there wasn’t anything in it at all.

“It lasted all of about three seconds, I think, and then it was over.”

When asked about his own involvement in the incident, Richardson smiled: “I went the other way, towards the ref and left the big lads to it!”

Toney is in line for a rare start on Tuesday night as Latics look to put away AFC Fylde at the second attempt, to secure an FA Cup third-round trip to Premier League Bournemouth.

The likes of Max Power, David Perkins, Gavin Massey and Gary Roberts are also hoping to be given the nod, with Paul Cook aiming to play a strong side to get the job done – while also looking to give some of his big guns a well-earned breather.

But the carrot of a Premier League trip for the winners is something that will keep the side firmly focused.

“You’re always looking ahead to what’s around the corner,” Richardson added.

“A win would mean a third-round tie at Bournemouth, a team we know very well having been down on the south coast for a couple of years with Portsmouth.

“We know we’ve got a very tough test before then to put to bed against Fylde, but whoever progresses certainly has a good tie on the way.

“We have to make sure it’s us.”