The hunger within him remains as strong as it’s ever been to fight for the No.1 shirt.
“It was frustrating not getting any minutes on the pitch last season, but you keep working hard and keep pushing all the lads to give 100 per cent,” he told the Wigan Evening Post.
“It’s been difficult to get in the team when you have Ali in the kind of form he’s been in, so there’s no complaints on that side of things. But I don’t want to just accept that’s the way things will be – and I’ll get ready to go again next season and fight for my place in the team.
“I feel as fit now as I have done in a long time. I think back 10 years ago and I’m doing so much more now to look after myself. Having pilates sessions at the training ground has helped, but in general I do like to keep fit. During the off-season I’m in the gym every day and watching what I eat to stay as fit as possible.
“I actually feel as though I’m still improving as well to be honest with the new techniques the gaffer and Inaki (Bergara – goalkeeping coach) have introduced. Beforehand it was a more old-fashioned style that you would train towards – kicking it long and pushing the play up the pitch.
“The gaffer wants us all to be able to play a bit more and focus on possession play, so my foot-work is incredible compared to what it was four or five years ago – which comes down to the work we do on a daily basis.”