Manager praise for youngsterLee Johnson has praised David Mellor for the way he has knuckled down to force his way back into Latics' first team.
The youngster (pictured) found himself out of favour earlier this season when Paul Dickov was manager.
Latics' new manager has thrown down the gauntlet to Mellor who starred in the centre of midfield in yesterday's vital npower League One victory at Bury.
Johnson said: "Dave has been fantastic and I think he felt neglected before I came in.
"I threw a hand grenade at him telling him he had not looked after himself properly.
"Since I have come in he has lost six kilos so fair play to the lad. He has looked after himself and put himself and put himself back into the reckoning.
"He is a very good player and, if we can get him in a good physical state, he is the one who can get us ticking."
The 19-year-old Mellor made his debut last season making 24 appearances.
However, he has found himself out in the cold for most of this season and yesterday was only his fifth match of the current campaign.