Wigan chief Whelan ready to splash the cash

November 24, 2006

Wigan chairman Dave Whelan is ready to back manager Paul Jewell in the transfer market as the January window approaches.

Jewell and Whelan signed a remarkable 12 players over the summer at a cost of £16million, although the club's net outlay was only around £2.5million due to several sales.

With the window just over five weeks away, Jewell has already made it clear he has several irons in the fire to ensure his side again cross the magic 40-point mark in the Premiership as soon as possible.

Ahead of Sunday's trip to Tottenham, the Latics have overcome a sticky start to the season by taking 13 points from the last 15 on offer.

Jewell does not want to let such form slide away, and concedes to having 'targeted areas where we need to improve'.

Whelan is seemingly willing to splash the cash again as he told Sky Sports News: 'We will sit down, look where we are in the league, what we're short of.

'We're always short of players, and I think every manager would tell you that.

'So he'll talk to me before the January transfer window, and if he convinces me he wants certain players then I try and support him.'

Whelan, meanwhile, has again expressed his fears over the prospect of one day losing Jewell - but only to either Manchester United, Chelsea, Arsenal or Liverpool.

Jewell has become one of the most highly rated and respected managers in the game given his achievements with the Latics.

Whelan appreciates he could become a target in the future, yet is convinced Jewell would not leave the JJB Stadium for any club other than one of what he calls 'the big four'.

When asked about the prospect of Jewell leaving, Whelan replied: 'That's always a thought, always at the back of my mind.

'If one of the big-four clubs suddenly decide to get rid of their manager and they want Paul Jewell, and they come for him, it's inevitable I will lose him.

'But any of the other clubs outside of the big four, then I can't really see him leaving Wigan.

'We have such a great working relationship, and he is happy here.

'When a manager is happy and he loves his football and he loves his club, they are very difficult to prise away.

'I think Paul will only be prised away from here by one of the top four.'

Club-record signing Emile Heskey could return to the squad for the clash at White Hart Lane after missing the last three weeks with a calf injury.

Centre-back Fitz Hall is pushing for a recall following five weeks out with an ankle problem, but left-back Leighton Baines faces another two weeks on the sidelines with a torn calf muscle.