Steve Bruce starts his reign as Wigan Athletic manager this afternoon with a tough game against local rivals Manchester City
Bruce has been in charge at his new club since Monday and hes made changes to the backroom staff by bringing in Eric Black and Keith Bertchin and letting David Lowe, Gary Walsh, Mark Seagraves and Bill Green go and it looks likely that David Hamilton will follow soon
On the playing front Bruce will have to manage with what he has got for at least another month until the transfer window opens and hes already noted that a left back will be needed
Latics go into the game on the back of eight defeats and no points since September which sees them in 17th place whilst City are sitting in third spot in the table
Although Svens team are high in the league there away form will be a concern to the former England boss, they lost 6-0 to Chelsea on their last outing and have won only once in the league away from their home base this season
‘Every manager needs a team around him, and in Eric, Keith and Frank, I have got three highly experienced football people that I know and trust,’
‘Emile is fit and I am delighted about that. He was nearly fit last week so it was nice for him to get 20 minutes. He has worked very hard this week and he will be raring to go,’
‘He is going to be paramount to us. I know what a big inspiration he can be to the team.
‘I’ve worked with him before and he was England’s saviour a couple of months ago – and how we missed him the other week (in the Euro 2008 qualifying defeat to Croatia).
‘I have always said, for his type, he is the best number nine in this country.’
Sven Goran Eriksson:
‘It is the worst moment to meet them as they have a new manager and are at home.
‘Wigan are a better team than the table shows.
‘Heskey is a good player, very strong and very important to Wigan.
‘Before he got injured, he also played well for England. He is a very good man as well.’
‘It is a big game, a difficult game and I have no idea what their formation will be.’
Wigan Athletic Team News:
Heskey, Kirkland and Valencia have returned to full fitness and should be recalled to the starting eleven
Melchiot is facing a fitness test if he is missing expect Boyce to go to right back
Wigan (from): Kirkland, Melchiot, Granqvist, Bramble, Kilbane, Cotterill, Sibierski, Landzaat, Scharner, Skoko, Taylor, Bent, Heskey, Valencia, Aghahowa, Pollitt, Hall, Olembe.
Player to watch: Heskey
A lot is expected of the big man on his return and I dont think he will disappoint
Manchester City Team News:
Elano is a non-starter due to a hamstring strain
City (from): Isaksson, Hart, Corluka, Richards, Dunne, Garrido, Ireland, Fernandes, Hamann, Petrov, Geovanni, Mpenza, Ball, Jihai, Samaras, Bianchi, Etuhu, Dabo.
Player to watch: Ireland
Scored some spectacular and improtant goals this season, plus his goal celebrations are something else
Match Facts & Stats
Premier League: Wigan 4 wins, Man City 0, Draws 0
Latics 4-0 City
Mike Riley (Leeds, Yorkshire)
Heart says Latics 2 City 0
Head says 1-1 draw
Bolton Wanderers v Latics
Decenber 8th 3pm