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COUNTDOWN TO KICK OFF: CALLUM McMANAMAN

2 August 2013

We catch up with Callum McManaman with one day to go until Latics’ season gets underway.

In 2011/12 McManaman got his first taste of Championship football during a successful loan spell with Blackpool, even scoring a winning goal in a 1-0 win against Reading.

The fresh young winger scored his first Latics goal against a then Championship side Hull City in 2010/11 and has continued that trend in cup games since, with goals against Nottingham Forest, Huddersfield Town and Millwall last season.

McManaman said he’ll draw on those previous experiences:

“I know it’s a hard league from my time with Blackpool and two games a week most weeks is something you have to get your body ready for.

“It’s important to get points on the board early on and as soon as you take the lead in games you have to work hard to make sure you don’t lose concentration because teams will make you suffer.”

In terms of playing style the 22-year-old added:

“You get a lot less time on the ball in this division but you’re options aren’t as cut off as they are in the Premier League.

“In the Championship the pace of the game and closing down is a lot quicker but the options open up more when you’ve got the ball with the amount of runners around you.”

It’s that high tempo which McManaman believes could suit the current squad.

“I enjoy that kind of game because I like to play at a fast pace and it’s something all of the lads are looking forward to.

“It suits a lot of the players we’ve got, especially with the new signings like Holty (Grant Holt) and Marco (Marc-Antoine Fortune) in the box because we’ve got players willing to take on full backs and find team mates in the area.”

With the excitement building ahead of the Barnsley game and on hearing the news of over 2,000 Latics fans making the trip, McManaman responded:

“We’ve got a lot of fans going to the Barnsley game and I think our support can be a real strength this season.

“Our away support is always spot on and they always make great noise and hopefully we can get the right result for them.”

McManaman added:

“If we can make a good start to the season and get some points on the board then our stadium and the away ends of the stadiums we go to will be rocking.”

The final word from McManaman was one of encouragement ahead of the new campaign.

“We are all going out there with the same aim of getting back up and the pain of relegation certainly gives us the desire to do so.

“If we make a good start and keep consistent then I don’t see why we can’t do that.”

This is our final Countdown to Kick Off before the big kick off against Barnsley.

You can read the previous parts with Lee Nicholls by [clicking here], Jean Beausejour by [clicking here], Jordi Gomez by [clicking here] and Marc-Antoine Fortune by [clicking here].

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