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Wigan boss Hutchings hails his "awesome" Heskey

The former England striker was back to his destructive best, with his pace and physical presence proving a constant thorn in the side of the Sunderland defenders, and Hutchings believes Heskey is worthy of an international recall.

The 29-year-old gave the home side a 19th-minute lead with a predatory strike, before two penalties in nine minutes midway through the second half by Denny Landzaat and then Sibierski sealed Wigan's second win in four days.

Former assistant manager Hutchings overhauled the squad this summer after stepping up to replace Paul Jewell, and he is pleased not only Heskey but also his six summer signings are all starting to deliver.

"He's been awesome," said Hutchings. "As long as he performs like that for us, then hopefully he'll get that recognition (an international call-up) that he deserves.

"That's what we expect from him and it's the same with the other players, we've got high expectations of them. We've got some big players and we expect big performances from them.

"We felt that we'd improved the squad from last season, which is most important, and I want the players to share my ambition, the chairman's ambition and the club's ambition of taking this football club forward.

"I think the players have shown that, and they want to play for me.

"We certainly tried to pass the ball better than what we have done in the past, and that's due to the players that we've brought in," he added.

"They're a little bit more comfortable on the ball, and that's no disrespect to the players we had before.

"If you get quality players, they can deal with things and you expect them to produce, and in the last two games they have done."

Wigan might have been awarded another two penalties in the first half, while Heskey appeared to come from an offside position before converting the opening goal.

"I certainly thought the (Jason) Koumas one in the first half was a penalty, but I haven't yet seen them on screen," said Hutchings.

"Someone said Heskey's goal could have been offside but from where I was I couldn't see, I was just pleased he tucked it away and it stood."

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Tribal Football Staff

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