Fulham's Bullard backs Hutchings for Wigan success

Fulham midfielder Jimmy Bullard has backed Wigan Athletic's appointment of Chris Hutchings as new manager.

Former Latics favourite Bullard said: "I have a very high regard for Chris.

"He knows the game inside out, and those who are saying he could struggle don't know him.

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"Stepping up from assistant to manager will not be a problem for him, Chris is a strong character who is his own man and he is very respected by the people who matter."

Bullard, who moved to Craven Cottage at the start of last season, also revealed his lasting debt to Hutchings for helping to turn him into one of the top-flight's most industrious midfielders.

"Chris helped me a lot," said the 28-year-old, who missed most of last season with a cruciate knee ligament injury. "He's a great bloke and he puts on some terrific training sessions, he can bring out the best in players.

"This is why I'm backing Wigan to go well under him. They could surprise a lot of people.

"Don't forget, Chris played at the highest level himself with Chelsea and he is very experienced. I certainly wouldn't bet against him doing the business. This could be the making of him.

"He is ideal to carry on the good work and the success, and I'm sure he'll relish being in charge.

"I really enjoyed working with him because he helped me so much. He's a very good communicator, he has great ideas and he spends so much time with the players.

"A lot of the players who are still at Wigan know how he works, and this will help him. I've always had a very high regard for him, and he is ready for the job."

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