CITY LIFE WAS NOW WI­GAN THE BEST BUT IS ALL I WANT

The Football League Paper - - NEWS - By Sean But­ters

IF IT wasn’t for his old East Ger­man pass­port you’d be for­given for think­ing Eng­land was home to Wi­gan boss Uwe Rosler. Manch­ester in par­tic­u­lar has al­ways held a spe­cial place in his heart, ever since he pitched up from FC Nurn­berg in 1994 and en­deared him­self to City fans with his abil­ity and work rate in equal mea­sure.

Rosler’s four years at City brought 65 goals, a wife, the birth of his first son and a life­long bond with the club which later helped him see off can­cer – two rel­e­ga­tions didn’t even blot his copy­book.

Rosler was al­ready liv­ing in the north west – City helped him find a school for his chil­dren in Manch­ester – when he re­turned to Eng­land to man­age Brent­ford in 2011, and his youngest son, named af­ter Sky Blues leg­end Colin Bell, is now in their academy.

Wife

So when Wi­gan, 20 miles away from Manch­ester city cen­tre, came in to of­fer him a job once Owen Coyle’s rocky six-month stint was ended in De­cem­ber, it gave him some­thing more than a chance to leap up a di­vi­sion.

“The days at City were the best, not just in foot­ball but also pri­vately,” said Rosler, lit­tle over a month into his lat­est project at the Lat­ics.

“I met my wife, my first son was born there, I met friends for life. It feels like I have come back – I left in 1998 and ob­vi­ously it shows how im­por­tant the area is to me.

“In 2012 I moved my fam­ily back here. City as a foot­ball player was my best time.”

Rosler’s am­bi­tion still burns as brightly as it did 20 years ago, how­ever, and he is adamant that it can be sat­is­fied at the Lat­ics.

In Dave Whe­lan, he has a chair­man who will un­doubt­edly give him time. Coyle was an ex­cep­tion to the rule – the for­mer Bolton man- ager was fall­ing short on his pre­sea­son brief to re­turn Pre­mier League foot­ball to the DW Sta­dium at the first time of ask­ing.

Rosler has 18 months, and that’s am­ple time ac­cord­ing to the 45year-old.

“Wi­gan Ath­letic gives me all the op­por­tu­ni­ties I want. Ev­ery­thing that I am driv­ing for and want to achieve in this coun­try, this club can and will give me,” added Rosler, born and raised in East Ger­many be­fore the re­uni­fi­ca­tion in 1989.

“Now it is up to me and my staff and the play­ers to get into the Pre­mier League in the next 18 months. At the mo­ment that is ev­ery­thing I am striv­ing for.

“When you are in the man­age­ment busi­ness and tak­ing over Wi­gan Ath­letic, we are in the po­si­tion where this club can of­fer you a lot of pos­si­bil­i­ties.

“Ob­vi­ously at the mo­ment we are not in the po­si­tion where we are fight­ing for au­to­matic pro­mo­tion.

Job

“But of course that is a job a lot of peo­ple are af­ter and I’m very happy and very priv­i­leged to get the word of the chair­man to man­age this foot­ball club.

“What I was ex­cited about was the sta­ble own­er­ship and fi­nances in the foot­ball club, the short line of com­mu­ni­ca­tion be­tween me, Jonathan Jack­son the CEO and the chair­man – that means de­ci­sions can be made quickly when needed. Com­ing here was very at­trac­tive, it’s a level higher up. Also the fact that my fam­ily live in the north west, it was too good an op­por­tu­nity to turn down.

“I un­der­stand that this club has the ex­pec­ta­tion in me to get them back in the Pre­mier League in the next 18 months.

“That’s what I get judged on and of course you can’t plan it like many other things in life.You put your­self through hard work and de­sire to be in a po­si­tion to suc­ceed and that’s what I want to do.”

Rosler left be­hind the Foot­ball League’s in-form club – Brent­ford racked up their tenth straight home league vic­tory on Tues­day and are in a great po­si­tion to make up for last sea­son’s play-off heart­break.

So it’s easy to see why, de­spite all that Wi­gan of­fered, it was still a gut-

wrench­ing de­ci­sion to clear his desk at Grif­fin Park.

“To leave that be­hind me and give the glory to another per­son was ob­vi­ously hard for me,” con­tin­ued Rosler. “But Wi­gan Ath­letic were call­ing, for me and that was a fan­tas­tic op­por­tu­nity.

Chance

“It’s a chance with the squad I have al­ready, and the sta­ble fi­nances, that I can bring my phi­los­o­phy and way of play­ing and hope­fully my type of play­ers to the club, who I be­lieve will be suc­cess­ful in the end.

“It was a very hard de­ci­sion to leave Brent­ford. I thor­oughly be­lieved in the squad that I had put to­gether with the sport­ing di­rec­tor and the owner. We had th­ese young play­ers who I gave the chance to play first-team foot­ball to when lots of them never had be­fore.

“The ex­pe­ri­ence they have gained from the pre­vi­ous years, through dis­ap­point­ment with Don­caster, the dis­ap­point­ment at Wem­b­ley, I thor­oughly thought this team would win pro­mo­tion.”

Wi­gan, free from their Europa League bur­den that no doubt ham­pered Coyle’s tine as man­ager, have been buoyed since Rosler’s ar­rival.

The Lat­ics’ FA Cup de­fence is still alive af­ter they knocked out Pre­mier League Crys­tal Palace last weekend, while the Cham­pi­onship play-offs are no longer a for­lorn hope.

One league de­feat in eight be­fore this weekend’s clash at home to Charl­ton has rekin­dled spir­its, and the ac­qui­si­tion of 20year-old Josh McEachran on loan from Chelsea smacks of the sort of player he was famed for de­vel­op­ing at the Bees.

“The ex­pec­ta­tion on Josh is that he needs to re­cover his form,” said Rosler. “We are not talk­ing about his qual­ity as a foot­baller, un­doubt­edly that is there.

“It is in terms of be­ing ready for Cham­pi­onship high-tempo foot­ball, and when he starts his qual­i­ties will show. He will have to fight for his place in the team in train­ing like any other player.

“In Eng­land ev­ery­thing is very per­son­alised. When you are 19 or 20 years old it can be very dif­fi­cult to over­come that and keep fo­cus.”

THE ROAD TO WI­GAN: Uwe Rosler says he can achieve all his am­bi­tions at the club, es­pe­cially now he has brought in Josh McEachran from Chelsea, top left. Life at Brent­ford had its heartaches, as when he watched Yeovil beat the Bees in the play-off fi­nal at Wem­b­ley, top right

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