Reece James answers Wigan Athletic’s Kal to arms!

Reece James
Reece James

On-loan Chelsea right-back Reece James has not just been the stand-out performer for Wigan Athletic this season.

He’s also been moonlighting part-time as a coach – giving Kal Naismith on-the-job advice on how to make the left-back position his own!

Naismith has played the last three games as emergency left-back with first-choice Antonee Robinson sidelined until February after undergoing ankle surgery.

Latics have picked up five points during that period, and Naismith has been gaining rave reviews – with a little help from his friends!

“I’ve spoken to Reece about what I need to be doing as a full-back,” revealed 26-year-old Naismith, who’s played most of his career in midfield.

“He’s been talking me through winning individual battles, how to get your body in and that sort of stuff.

“Things like coming to grips with the one-v-one tussles is definitely a skill, and I’m getting there.

“Hopefully it’s a part of my game I can get better at.

“I enjoy the challenges to be fair, and also learning a new skill – in life as well as football.

“To come into something you’re not especially good at and adapt to the situation has been rewarding.

“Dan (Burn) has also made it easy for me, constantly talking to me about what I should be doing.

“He keeps me calm, assured, gives me the line to follow – most of the formation stuff comes from him.”

Paul Cook will deliver his weekly briefing to the media this morning, and he’s expected to confirm Nick Powell will be sidelined for a period of time with hamstring trouble.

Powell, who is out of contract at the end of the season, missed last weekend’s 1-1 draw at Bolton, having been forced off in each of the previous two matches, and the Wigan Post understands a scan has shown damage that will require treatment and rest.