Marcus Bent is ready to fill the void at Wigan Athletic left by injured striker Emile Heskey.

"Everyone at the club feels for Emile right now," Bent said. " He's been so unlucky and he's a great guy.

"Obviously, I wish I'd have got my chance under better circumstances but that's football.

"Emile is a massive loss and this is not the way I wanted to come in but it's a good opportunity for me. I've confidence in my ability and I also have experience. I simply just want to help the team.

"We are a very closely-knit unit, all the players work for each other and I hope I can take this opportunity with both hands. I want to play against the best."

Bent, who will go straight into the team for Saturday's trip to Reading, added: "The boys are buzzing despite the injury to Emile. We are up against a good Reading outfit, I played against them twice last year, but we are looking for our first away win and believe we can go there and do well."