Cliff's a great professional - Latics' managerCliff Byrne left for a 93-day loan at Sky Bet League 2 club Scunthorpe United today with a glowing tribute from Lee Johnson.
Latics' manager praised the professionalism of the 31-year-old defender (pictured) saying he could not stand in the way of him.
Johnson said: "I didn't want to lose Cliff who is a great professional and who was very good helping me last season.
"Sometimes as manager you have to respect somebody who is so professional and who is keen to continue playing.
"I couldn't see him being a mainstay in my team for the moment, so it was my view it was better for him to get games elsewhere."
Johnson explained he turned down an offer for Byrne just before the transfer window shut saying he did not believe it was the best for both parties.
He continued: "As for Scunthorpe, Cliff is a legend and loved at the club.
"He is going to play all their games and it was right for Cliff.
"I wish him good luck and, after 93 days, may be he will be back here?"