After three weeks on the side lines due to suspension following a red card at AFC Bournemouth in mid-August, Callum McManaman returned to action in yesterday afternoon’s 2-0 defeat to Leicester City.
A second half substitute in the game, McManaman said it felt good to be back on the pitch, but that the team were disappointed with their performance.
“I’m gutted that we got beat, but I felt strong when I came onto the pitch and I’ve been working hard coming up to this game.
“It was always going to be a tough game against Leicester and they’re a good side, but we know we’re better than the performance we put in and we’re disappointed with ourselves.
“We need to start picking up results soon and we’re disappointed because it hasn’t been the start we wanted.
“We all want to be in a better position than we are, but it’s a long season so it’s far from over yet.”
With Latics in action again on Thursday in the club’s first ever European game against Zulte Waregem in the Europa League, McManaman added that it’s the perfect time to play again.
“We’ve got another game now on Thursday, a massive game in the Europa League and in my opinion the quicker that comes around the better because it gives us a chance to put the disappointment of this weekend behind us.
“It’s exciting going into Europe for the first time for almost everyone in the squad and of course for the first time for the club and we’ll see what we can do on that stage.”
McManaman’s return to the team may have come after suspension, but he said he’s been working hard to be fit to play after working hard in the gym.
“Since I came back from my ankle injury at the end of last season my legs have been a little bit tight and I’ve been working hard to strengthen in the gym over the last few weeks.
“I just need to manage that day by day and make sure that I’m strong for each game.
“Hopefully I’ll get some more game time on Thursday and earn my place back in the team.”