Riera’s plans to make a special delivery to fans

Oriol Riera
Oriol Riera

ORIOL Riera is hoping to deliver the perfect Christmas present to his family at Leeds on Boxing Day.

The Spanish striker returned to the fold after injury against Rotherham on Saturday, hitting the bar within minutes of appearing off the bench.

And having been joined this week by members of his family from home, he is hoping to have double reason to celebrate come Boxing Day evening.

“In Spain they stop the league, but in England it’s not like that and my family have to come here,” he told the Evening Post.

“I want to play good for them on Boxing Day. It would be the best present I could give them and the team.

“We have to win for the team, and we also want to win for the fans to give them something to celebrate.”

Riera came agonisingly close to notching his second goal of the season against the Millers when he made a solid enough connection to Callum McManaman’s cross, only to see it bounce back off the woodwork.

“That’s the second time that has happened this season,” Riera recognised.

“Obviously I have to improve my technique a little bit, and I have to keep going.

“It was just good to play again and have no reaction to my ankle injury.

“The result was not good, and we have to improve both on the training ground and on a matchday if we are to win at Leeds.”

Latics have lost nine of their 12 matches on the road in all competitions this season, winning just once – at high-flying Derby – while five of Leeds’ six wins this term have come on home soil.

“We have had more problems away from home than at home this season,” acknowledged Riera.

“I don’t know if we have to play a good game, but I know we have to win. We have very good players throughout the squad who have played in the top division, and we have to demonstrate that on the field with high intensity and ambition.

“We are all trying our best although the results are not the best.

“I experienced the same last season in Spain, and you all have to be on the same page and keep sure the changing room stays solid to come through it.”