Wigan chairman: Hutchings safe

Wigan Athletic chairman Dave Whelan has assured manager Chris Hutchings his job isn't on the line.

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Hutchings, in charge since Paul Jewell quit in May, saw Whelan favourite Stuart Pearce linked with his job yesterday, but the Wigan chairman insisted: "I'm absolutely right behind Chris.

"It's not an easy job for him taking over from Paul Jewell - Paul is a very special manager, as he proved here. We have to support Chris, but we have to have success as well.

"The injuries have really upset the team and upset Chris. We've had some serious injuries - losing Emile Heskey has been a massive blow for us. It will be great seeing him back out there."

Heskey is hoping to get the go-ahead from a specialist to step up his training schedule after missing the last six games with a fractured metatarsal.

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