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WIGAN manager Paul Jewell has achieved something no other Latics boss has under millionaire chairman Dave Whelan earned a contract.

WIGAN manager Paul Jewell has achieved something no other Latics boss has under millionaire chairman Dave Whelan earned a contract.

The staff turnover at the JJB Stadium has been high since Whelan starting pumping money into the club and no manager has had the safety of a contract until Jewell, who has secured a two-year deal.

In fact, such is the faith that Whelan has in the former Wigan player, that despite the club not pushing for promotion, he once said if Jewell resigns, he will too.

One of the most amazing results in the league this season was Wigan's 6-1 victory over promotion chasing Stoke, after which the Latics went on a 12-match unbeaten run. However recent home losses to Reading (2-0) and Saturday s 1-0 reverse to Blackpool have seen W igan fade out of the play-off scene with Jewell going on record as saying that they d be in a relegation scrap if they lose to Wrexham.

Jewell can't blame anyone but himself, having bought nine players since taking over in June. He has moulded the current team and his latest signing, all £600,000 of John Filan from Blackburn, will take his place in goal.

He will line up behind a 4-4-2 formation that sees Scott Green, a former Bolton player, at right-back. He will be flanked by Gary Croft, currently onloan from Ipswich. Jewell has been impressed by the defender and hopes to secure his services on a permanent contract.

In the centre is the influential Dutch captain Arjan De Zeuw, who was recruited from Barnsley. His partner should be Jason De Vos, who recently returned from the Gold Cup with his native Canada; the former Dundee United man's arrival is well-timed due to an injury to defender Pat McGibbon.

On the right side of midfield is another recruit in the shape of Gary Teale, a £250,000 signing from Ayr United and former teammate of Marius Rovde.

The left side is patrolled by another Scotsman, Steve McMillan, who earned rave reviews at Motherwell before his £1.5million joint move with Scott McCulloch.

Jewell goes for experience in the middle of the midfield with record signing Tony Dinning, a £750,000 purchase from W olves, and he should be partnered by ex-Tranmere and Motherwell man Ged Brannan.

Up front, the Latics have a combination of skill in the shape of former Barnsley man Andy Liddell and power from big Simon Haworth.

Welshman Haworth is out of contract at the end of the season and, despite being injured for five weeks, has scored 11 goals this season. He is said to be attracting attention from Tranmere and cCardiff.

On the bench, expect to se striker Paul Dalglish, as well as Northern Ireland international Ian Nolan who is expected to leave the club at the end of the season.


David Holmes
Chief News Reporter
David Norbury
Mike Fuller
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