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Wigan boss Bruce dismisses Scharner complaints

Wigan boss Steve Bruce has rejected claims from Paul Scharner that his side are playing a long-ball game under him.

Bruce celebrated his first game in charge with a hard-fought 1-1 draw with Manchester City at the weekend.

"Despite what was said by a certain individual, there is no way I'm a long-ball merchant," Bruce told Wigan Today.

"We tried to have a positive attitude all week.

"We had a fantastic few days on the training pitch, and then we fought like tigers against a team who are fifth in the Premier League to claim our first point for two months.

"However, it can become a bit of a negative when something like that develops in the newspapers and I was disappointed.

"Certainly, I'll have a team that is highly competitive, but never a long-ball side.

"We'll try and get the ball up to Emile Heskey and Marcus Bent early, because that is the strength of the team.

"However, it doesn't mean we have to play the long ball.

"It might be a bit more direct, but a long ball? No. It will not be like that at all.

"We are in a dogfight to stay in this division with nine points from 15 games - that suggests it is going to be tough.

"We've got to adopt a mentality when we are going to be difficult to beat."

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