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Interviews

Eagles Looking To The Future

30 August 2019

Latics host Colchester United tomorrow, looking to build on the momentum of an away win at Cambridge United and midfielder Chris Eagles gave his thoughts ahead of the game.

After a lengthy period out of the game, the 33-year-old feels he has settled in well at the club and is beginning to regain his match sharpness after a few setbacks in pre-season.

“It’s been tough getting fit as I've had 18 months working for Manchester United, I've missed football so that's why I've come back.” He said.

“The main thing is that I've had a pre-season, if you don't have one you always feel like you're trying to play catch up.

“It's nice to have an owner and a manager that have put faith in me and given me the time to get fit, I was getting niggles in pre-season which is part of getting old and not playing for a while.

“The gaffer knew that and that’s why I wasn’t playing in the first couple of games, Unfortunately, with the way the results went, he's ended up putting me in early.

“I'm not sure if that was what he wanted to do straight away but I'm thankful and I'm loving every minute of it.”

The winger has started the last two league outings and believes that both his and the team’s performances are getting stronger with every game.

He also believes that he isn’t far off from completing a full 90 minutes after being substituted in all three of his starts so far.

“It's all about fitness and confidence, I've started three and I'm unbeaten in three which I'm proud of.” He commented.

“It's just about keeping that momentum going now, I'm loving every minute of it and I'm happy.

“Obviously playing every Saturday and Tuesday was tough but it was great getting the results last week and we've just got to pick another one up this Saturday.

“Hopefully I can push for the 90 minutes, but I'll see how my legs get on, I feel good and I feel confident, but I just want to start scoring for them now.

“I've got a couple of assists, but I've not really had a shot on goal, I need to start scoring, but I believe that every day were getting better and stronger and I like the way we’re trying to play.

“I think it will click and it'll be great for the team and the fans, I think there's about 40 odd games, so I've just got to make sure that my hips and legs stay on for them.”

Despite not signing until late July, Eagles was part of the group that travelled to Morocco and believes the trip played an important role in improving his own fitness levels as well as bonding with players and staff.

“It was great to properly get to know the staff and players there. I'd normally be coming into a club now and it's difficult as you don’t know anyone, and you've got to get fit.

“It was quite clear that the contract was always there, but it was just a question of my mental state because I could’ve turned around and said I don't really want to go back in to football.

“I'm getting to know the lads and the lads are getting to know me, they're learning where I want it and that I want it early.

“I believe I can create and score for them and that understanding is growing with each game.”

Having amassed nearly 350 league appearances, Eagles is a senior figure in the dressing room and feels he can use his experience to benefit and develop some of the younger players.

From those 350 appearances he has played in the top two leagues of English football with Manchester United, Burnley and Bolton Wanderers.

“They ask me about where I've played and especially about playing in The Championship and The Premier League.

“I'm always smiling and I'm always bubbly around the place, I like to teach people that football's about enjoyment because when I first came in, a few of the lads were a bit down and I'm trying to teach them to enjoy it.

“For me, it's the best job in the world, I was given a gift that I'm lucky to have and it's just about enjoying it and getting results and the gaffer wants me to spread confidence around some of the younger players.”

After picking up our first victory of the season on Saturday, Eagles has noticed an upturn in morale and believes that it is a result that can be built upon.

“When you're winning it always changes the morale of the squad because everyone's bubbly and they can't wait to step out and play.

“I noticed it when we were two games in and we had two losses, people were down, and they were nervous.

“I just said to them that we're only two games in and there's loads of games left, it's all about building on the momentum from last week now.

“I don't really know about the past of the club, but the past is the past and we've got to look into the future and get the club back to where I believe it should be.”

Having played alongside Club Captain David Wheater at Bolton, the experienced winger firmly believes that the centre-back will be a positive influence both on and off the pitch.

“He's a great lad and I've known him for years now, at Bolton, I was bossing him around and now he's bossing me around.

“I was the one who put his name forward to club as I thought he could be a good addition and exactly what we needed.

“Dave is a great pro and a great friend; I knew he would be great for the squad and a great captain for the other lads to go and speak to.”


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