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Interviews

Wheater Relishing Role As Captain

24 January 2020

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The Club Captain shared his thoughts ahead of the fixture at Salford City in a game he knows is important for a number of reasons.

With having a full week of preparation ahead of the fixture, there was a slight change in the schedule during the week to mirror next week with back-to-back home games on Tuesday and Saturday.

"This week changed slightly, we normally have Thursday's off and in Wednesday but we're used to that, players like myself have done it for years in football and obviously Dino thought he wanted to change it up a bit this week to help with next week.

"This week we've also worked hard and especially focused on set pieces for a few hours because we know they're dangerous on them."

Focusing on the opponents, Wheater knows the defeat in December to the Ammies is still fresh in the mind and they have to use it as motivation.

"They all know the result was terrible. Being a local game the lads will want to go into it and win just for that reason alone.

"With the previous result we really want to put that right and hopefully we can do it to them on the day."

Without his his new defensive partner, the centre-back is confident the work during the last few sessions will mean Carl Piergianni's absence isn't felt too much for the benefit of the team after disruptions over the previous months before his arrival.

"'Pidge' has been on the other team attacking the team that will start, but it's just a bit annoying when you start to form partnerships and then it gets disrupted.

"Even before Pidge came, Tomas came in for a game and I said to him 'stay in the team' and he got kicked in the head, so it meant he was out and was added to the injury list which also hasn't helped the amount we've had.

"We've been working on different back fours, different connections and we've worked well this week."

Joining the club just before the start of the season, Wheater is enjoying his time at Latics and knows he has a big part to play.

"I never asked to be captain when I joined, even at my previous clubs I've never asked for it. For me, I never change I'll be just be the same. 

"I try to get on with everyone and I'm not too much of a shouter, maybe some want that more but I've never been like that.

"But I'm the one who keeps the group together, tries to keep everyone happy by talking on the pitch.

"On the whole it's been good since I joined, all the staff are brilliant, the lads are too and they've made it easier to settle in but I'm the one who has to organise everything especially off the pitch but I suppose as captain you have to do it."

He added: "Coming in I've played a lot of football over the years now and I knew there were a lot of young players here and a lot of foreign lads who had just signed as well so I just wanted to help the young lads especially get through in the first team.

"Like Tom and Alex who are still young lads who have been playing with me, it's nice to look after them and try and help them in their careers, so it's a good thing for me to do."

On the new additions during the current transfer window, the defender believes the new faces will mean the club on the pitch can go from strength-to-strength.

"The lads who have come in have improved us as a team. Hopefully McCann signs back up as he was good when playing for us and David Jones brings a lot of experience too and that's what Dino wants.

"Those who came in the summer weren't very experienced in England, obviously they would've had to get used to it over the season but in these leagues you need that experience and knowhow on how to get through games."


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