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GAME TIME CRUCIAL FOR STEPHEN WARNOCK AS HE COMPLETES LATICS LOAN MOVE

7 March 2016

Experienced defender hopes to aid Latics’ Sky Bet League One promotion bid after joining on loan from Derby County until the end of the season.

  • “Chance to play a big lure,” says Warnock.
  • Long-time friendship with Gary Caldwell helped move.
  • Warnock, who will wear squad number 22, fit and ready to feature on Saturday at Colchester United.
Loan signing Stephen Warnock says the opportunity to play games was crucial to his move to Wigan Athletic on loan until the end of the season from Sky Bet Championship side Derby County.

Since Darren Wassall replaced Paul Clement as the Rams’ boss, Warnock hasn’t featured for the iPro Stadium side, though he has racked up 22 appearances in all competitions this season and is match fit and ready to play.

And he says when contacted about the move by Latics boss Gary Caldwell, who he has known since the Scot went on trial at Liverpool early in his career prior to joining Newcastle United, he was keen to progress the move.

“I am really pleased,” Warnock said. “The point had come at Derby where I wasn’t playing games, I wasn’t involved and, although I had enjoyed me season there, the time had come where I needed to get out and play football on a regular basis.

“I got contacted by the manager last week and he asked my availability and whether I would be interested in coming and I think the chance to play football was the biggest lure for me.

“I have known manager for a long time; he came on trial at Liverpool before he signed for Newcastle United and I have known him since them, so a pretty long time all told. I also know Pearcey [Jason Pearce] from Leeds United too and he only had good things to say about the club and the future 

“It has been a slow process but I am pleased it is now over the line.”

Since breaking into Liverpool’s first team in the 2004-05 campaign – when the Reds won the UEFA Champions League – Warnock has been used to playing and this season has been no different, with a regular run in the Rams’ side up until last month when Derby replaced Paul Clement with Darren Wassall.

And he says he is now ready to aid Latics’ own promotion bid.

“It is only in the last few weeks that I haven’t really played,” he added. “Derby have had a change of manager and he is looking more to the future and wanting to change things up and that is fair enough because every manager has their opinions.

“It is perfect to come into another promotion battle; we will be striving for something at the end of the season and I am joining the club in a good, healthy position and hopefully I can help along the way to get us promoted.

“I am fit, ready and raring to go.”

Warnock boasts over 400 professional appearances to his name and he hopes that will be of benefit to Latics, though he wants to show supporters what he can do on Saturdays, rather than talking himself up.

“Obviously I have a lot of experience and I have played a lot of times during my career but I like to leave it until the Saturdays to show what I can bring,” Warnock continued.

“You can do much talking and people can expect too much so I’ll just get on with my job quietly and hopefully that is enough to keep everyone happy.”

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