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MATT GILKS DISCUSSES SIGNING FOR LATICS

31 January 2017

Goalkeeper believes Latics in safe hands in the goalkeeping department as he becomes third senior stopper.

  • Matt Gilks on signing for Wigan Athletic.
  • Gilks looking forward to competing with Jakob Haugaard and Jussi Jaaskelainen.
  • “The former Wigan lads at Rangers spoke well of the club and that helped me make my decision,” says Gilks.
Wigan Athletic’s new goalkeeper Matt Gilks believes the club’s goalkeeping department is in safe hands after he joined from Rangers on Transfer Deadline Day.

The former Scotland international, 34, adds competition for the number one spot at the DW Stadium alongside on loan Stoke City goalkeeper Jakob Haugaard and Jussi Jaaskelainen.

Discussing his move to the DW Stadium and his relationship with Jaaskelainen, Gilks said:

“It’s been a few weeks in the making but to get it done and finally say I am a Wigan Athletic player is what I have been wanting to do for a few weeks, so I am delighted.

“It’s a chance to freshen up for me; I went to Rangers in the summer and gave it my all up there to try and get into the team but the manager didn’t really play me other than in the cup games.

“It’s good to move back to the north-west as well, that plays a part with my family and it works out well for me coming here.

“I know Jussi very well; I actually started training at Euxton with him when I was a young lad at Rochdale and he was at Bolton.

“Young Jakob has come in and done very well too so it’s a good bit of competition all round and the goalkeeping department I feel looks strong now.”

Jaaskelainen isn’t the only familiar face for Gilks at Latics, though, with his good friend David Perkins here at the DW.

“I’ve known Perks for a long time,” he explained. “We’ve stayed in touch since we played together at Rochdale and we know what each other are about.

“I am sure he has been asked by the manager about me and I hope he gave positive feedback!

“I know most of the lads from throughout my playing career so when you move around you tend to know certain players that are at clubs anyway so it makes slightly easier to fit in.”

Gilks also added that he spoke to members of Rangers’ squad who have previously been at Latics before completing his move, with James Tavernier, Martyn Waghorn and Rob Kiernan plying their trade at Ibrox currently.

“It’s a great club and they’re a great bunch of lads at Rangers and obviously there are a few lads up there that came from Wigan,” he continued.

“I spoke about this club with Martyn Waghorn; our first conversation was actually about me saving a penalty for Blackpool against him here at the DW Stadium! They all spoke well of the football club and that helped me to make my decision.”

And Gilks, who boasts over 360 EFL appearances, mainly from spells with Blackpool and Rochdale, says he has seen enough to be encouraged about Latics’ recent performances to believe the club can secure our Sky Bet Championship status.

“I watched the game at Manchester United and it does make you wonder why the club are in the relegation zone because some good football was played and there are obviously some good players here,” Gilks continued.

“Three wins on the bounce before the United game have shown us moving in the right direction and that’s something that we have to build on.”

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