Wigan boss Bruce throws down challenge to Bent

Wigan Athletic boss Steve Bruce has challenged Marcus Bent to make the most of his new goal scoring form after Saturday's 5-3 victory over Blackburn Rovers.

He said: "Let's hope that can continue because I cannot see Emile being fit for a few weeks, that's for sure.

"Marcus has been terrific by all accounts since he's been here.

"He was very, very good against Man City. I thought he and Heskey played very well at Bolton last week.

"He's worked extremely hard and led from the front, so he'll need to do that again, especially if we have lost Emile."

Bruce is acutely aware of Heskey's importance to the Wigan cause.

It is no co-incidence his two-month absence with a broken foot earlier this season coincided with the club's eight-game losing run.

"He is a big, important, influential player for us," said Bruce, whose side could climb out of the drop zone with victory at Fulham on Saturday.

"We hope that he's not going to be too bad because certainly the club has missed him.

"In the last three games, he's back. You can see the difference that he does make."

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