(Picture: Action Images via Reuters)
Wigan Athletic midfielder Jack Byrne is relishing the opportunity to prove new boss Paul Cook he is worthy of a future at the DW Stadium.
The 21-year-old Irishman was brought to the club by Warren Joyce in January from Man City, but struggled with the rigours of a Championship relegation battle due to a lack of fitness and limited first-team football.
In the end, Wigan fell back into League One after just one season in the second tier, and Joyce lost his job as a result, but Cook has been quick to assure the squad they will be given another chance in order to impress him.
Byrne is clearly thankful for that, and is ready to seize his chance after doubts he might fall out of favour under new management, telling the Wigan Observer: “At the time I supposed it’s natural to feel a bit worried about the situation, when managers come and go.
“But you’re hoping as a player you can impress any manager, and not just the one that brought you in.
“You have to believe in yourself and believe in your own ability. Obviously I’m grateful to Warren for bringing me here and giving this opportunity.
“I wish him all the best for the future, but I’m a Wigan player now, not a Warren Joyce player.”
Having moved from Dublin to Manchester, and after time on loan at Blackburn and Dutch club Cambuur, Byrne is in no rush to change club again, and wants to settle down with Wigan after securing his transfer at the start of the year.
“It’s difficult when you’re going out on loan, and you’re having to move house every few months,” said the midfielder.
“But when the opportunity came along to settle here, it was one I grabbed with both hands.”