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BITTERSWEET DEBUT FOR LEON CLARKE

8 February 2015

Debut goal scorer looks back on AFC Bournemouth defeat.

  • Leon Clarke grabbed a goal on his debut against Cherries.
  • Latics started brightly, but mistakes cost dear.
  • Wednesday perfect timing to make things right.
Deadline day signing Leon Clarke was on target on his debut yesterday in the 3-1 defeat to Sky Bet Championship leaders AFC Bournemouth, but despite getting himself off to a positive start in a Wigan Athletic shirt, he said it was a bittersweet moment.

The striker, on loan from Wolverhampton Wanderers, said:

“Obviously it’s great to get off to a goal scoring start, but the result is what matters the most, and with that we’ve been left disappointed.  It’s bittersweet for me.

“It was nice to score, but I’d much rather be scoring goals that win us games.  We’ve got to dust ourselves down and make sure that’s the case on Wednesday at Nottingham Forest.”

On the game itself, Clarke added:

“We started the game well.  We were creating chances early on, we were on the front foot and things were looking positive.

“The defeat wasn’t for the lack of trying, it was mistakes that cost us.

“Bournemouth are a tough team, we knew that and we knew we would have to work hard.  I think the endeavour and the effort was there for everyone to see.”

Clarke was one of four players making their debuts for Latics, alongside Chris Herd, Kim Bo-Kyung and substitute Sheyi Ojo, with Billy Mckay making his first appearance at the DW Stadium.

Discussing his first appearance in a Latics shirt, the 29-year-old continued:

“The physical battle was good, I haven’t played much football recently, so it was nice for the gaffer to put his trust in me.

“The manager said before the game that I should go out and enjoy it, be aggressive and make myself a handful for their centre backs and I’d like to think I did that.

“It was hard and I was tired towards the end, but I hope I showed the supporters what they wanted to see on my debut.”

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