WIGAN ATHLETIC MANAGER Leam Richardson lauded the contribution of James McClean to his side’s resounding victory over Bolton Wanderers yesterday.
A feisty derby saw the Latics record a 4-0 away win that leaves them just a point behind League One leaders Plymouth Argyle, over whom they have two games in hand.
After providing the assist that allowed recent Ireland call-up Will Keane to open the scoring, McClean found the net twice during the second half of an impressive display.
It was a positive return to club football for the experienced Irish international, who earned his 86th senior cap in last weekend’s 3-0 defeat of Azerbaijan.
“His first goal was a fantastic goal but the most pleasing thing about James today was how hard he worked and the information that he took in,” Richardson said of the 32-year-old.
“He got back [from international duty] on Wednesday to then work Thursday and Friday to prepare for today, and that just shows the professional that he is to go from international level to then turn his attention to club football.”
Following his summer departure from Stoke City, McClean was linked with a move to Bolton. He ultimately returned for a second spell with Wigan and insisted that there was “never any chance” of a move to their Greater Manchester rivals.
Get closer to the stories that matter with exclusive analysis, insight and debate in The42 Membership.
Bolton manager Ian Evatt later hit back at McClean, describing his comments as “complete false” and claiming he was “never interested” in signing him. However, the Derry man had the last laugh yesterday.
“To come away to your rivals and win 4-0 is pretty special,” McClean told his club’s official website. “It’s a good day for the travelling support. They came out in numbers and were very vocal so it was an absolutely brilliant win.
“We were prepared to match them for whatever game it was going to be and, in the end, our quality showed.”Internet Explorer Channel Network