Date: 21st May 2008 at 5:39pm
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Wigan Athletic and England goalkeeper Chris Kirkland signed on for another 4 years at the JJB today and made Latics boss Steve Bruce a very happy man

Bruce said that he was delighted with the former Liverpool and Coventry City keeper extending his contract and said that it is a massive boost for the club.

Bruce said:

‘Everyone knows what a professional Chris is. I knew Chris was a good goalkeeper before I joined but until I had worked with him I didn’t realize just how good he actually is.

‘When I joined the club we were shipping on average over two goals a game, and no matter how good your strikers are, it is virtually impossible to score three goals in this league to win every game.

‘So it is no coincidence that Chris’ run of clean sheets and the good form of the team defensively meant that we picked up 31 points in about the last 30 games to secure our status with a game to go.

‘People ask me about transfer targets and who is coming in, but someone of Kirky’s calibre signing this new deal is a massive boost for the club and is an excellent foundation to continue building for next season.’

Kirkland himself was over the moon to extend his stay and show some loyalty to the club that gave him a chance to get his career back on track, he said:

“My agent knew I wanted to stay and that I was happy”

“The club took a chance on me two years ago when nobody else would after I`d had a lot of injuries – I wanted to repay them for that.

“Paul Jewell brought me here so I`m very grateful to him and the chairman. Steve Bruce has come here and he says he believes in me and to go out and prove that.

“That`s why I wanted to stay – that was the natural thing to do.”

Great news for the club and hopefully the first of many quality signings this summer

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