Defender Rob Kiernan hopes for big things ahead after extending his stay with Latics.
After signing a new three-year-deal with Wigan Athletic, defender Rob Kiernan was quick to set out his aims for next season and shared a few words for the Club’s supporters who he says have been ‘valuable’ to his development.
“The fans have been brilliant to me,” said the 23-year-old.
“I’ve had a lot of nice things said to me on Twitter and when I’m walking into the stadium for matches they always say hello and talk to me.
“That sort of thing is very valuable to me because the fans are vitally important to the Club.
“If they like what I’m doing on the pitch then that’s all good to me and it helps a lot.”
Kiernan’s rise into the first team coincided with the appointment of Uwe Rosler, who had the former Watford man on loan at Brentford in the 2012/13 season.
The Rickmansworth-born defender said he was delighted that his manager saw the hard work he had been putting in over the last few years, adding:
“The gaffer has been brilliant to me, he gave me my big chance and now I’m looking to repay his faith in me with some big performances next season.
“I’m looking to build on last season and I’ll work hard to be one of the names on the team sheet every week, to be trusted with a role in the team and to represent the Club as best as I can.”
“When I was 17 at Watford I was nowhere near the first team and I knew I would have to work hard to make it as a professional footballer.
“I was sent out on loan to various teams across different quality leagues and I’m glad my hard work has paid off.
“Hard work is the key to anything, I made sure I didn’t just play in the reserves and expect to eventually play in the first team and the loans spells I have had have been crucial to developing.”
Kiernan faced stiff tests during his breakthrough into the first team, but he insists every challenge will only help him to improve.
“The games I’ve played in the Championship have been big tests against experienced strikers.
“Coming up against a player like Bobby Zamora is a valuable lesson for me to develop and next season I’ll look to be stronger and ready to face even more challenges.”
Twice the defender came up against 33-year-old Zamora, tasting defeat on both occasions, but Kiernan said those games against QPR will only drive Latics on for the new season.
“I was gutted after QPR and genuinely disappointed because we all wanted it so badly.
“I’m confident that next season we’ll make a better challenge to go back up to the Premier League.
“In general my season has been very good and I’m pleased with how I’ve done, we’ll have a rest during the summer and be back stronger for the new season.”