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Wheater Raring To Go After Recent Injury

23 August 2019

Latics travel to Cambridge United tomorrow in search of the first three points of the season and defender David Wheater gave his thoughts ahead of the game.

The defender claims that he has settled in since his arrival before the first game of the season against Forest Green Rovers.

“It’s been good, obviously my first day was training and the second it was the first game, it was just getting in the swing of things." He said.

“All the lads have been great, and the staff have been great as well, so I can’t complain really it’s been good.”

Latics have made several summer signings prior to the start of the campaign including Wheater which may explain the slow start.

However, the 32-year-old has faith in the ability of the squad but believes that it’s going to take time for the lads to reach their best.

“It’s a good squad but I think it’s just going to take time with the number of signings that have joined the club." He commented.

“We’re improving every game; we need to keep going and be confident that we can win every game and hopefully push on up the league.”

In his career, Wheater has been captain at both Middlesbrough and Bolton Wanderers before his arrival at Latics.

He stepped in for Club Captain Mohammed Maouche on Tuesday night and says he naturally fits into that role as a senior player in order to help the younger members of the squad.

“I think my initiation helped didn’t it because that was my first night away, so you get involved with the lads don’t you and that helped.

“I’m a happy character so I just talked to everyone, staff and players I get amongst everyone and it seems to rub off on people and keep people happy.

“I just come in every day happy and train well and hopefully people copy that.”

The experienced defender has been impressed by Head Coach Laurent Banide so far and says he’s been great for the rest of the players.

“He’s been good, very intense when things aren’t going right, and I think that’s good because sometimes we need that.

“He’s also been good with me, after the first game I just told him I hurt my leg a bit and he was fine with it but he’s been wanting me back for the past week or so.

“I think he’s been arguing with the physio trying to get me back in when I wasn’t ready. He’s been good and he’s been terrific everyone.”

Wheater has been on the sideline with an injury that he suffered against Forest Green, but came back and helped keep a clean sheet against Exeter City during mid-week.

“The injury is fine, I did it in the game and I probably should have come off, but I was trying to soldier on in my first game and be a hero.

“I think it was because I was at Bolton Wanderers in pre-season and all the friendlies got cancelled, we had a few behind closed doors friendlies but they weren’t played at a good tempo.

“My second day at Latics was a proper game and I just got a tiny tear in my thigh but it’s fine now.

“It was probably my fault because the Head Coach came and asked me and I said yeah I’m ready to play but I felt like I was ready.

“I think I did it in the first half and staying on probably made it worse but it’s fine now.”

It was the first point of the season against Exeter on Tuesday and Wheater says the squad want to build on that.

“I said in the dressing room at half-time if we don’t score, we get this point and we go from there and that’s what we did.

“We kept a clean sheet and obviously the offside goal, but we need that luck in games like that and it’ll set us up nicely for the next game.”

Cambridge United have had a good start to the season and Wheater expects a tough test at the Abbey Stadium.

“No games are easy in these divisions, they’re horrible leagues to play in but we need to be confident that we can go and win these games because these are the ones that we need to win to get us up the league.”

And the centre-back is determined to pick up the first win of the season against Cambridge to make the journey back home a good one.

“Of course, we’re going to get three points and for us, it’s always better to have a win because it’s a much better journey home when you lose it’s horrible because it feels like double the journey.

“But for everyone’s sake the fans and players hopefully we get the win to push us on up.”

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