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Wigan keeper coach Spink: Kirkland can be England's best

New Wigan Athletic goalkeeper coach Nigel Spink is determined to help Chris Kirkland fulfill his potential.

Kirkland's new tutor told the Manchester Evening News: "Chris is definitely one of England's best keepers and he has a fantastic work ethic. I've been instantly impressed with him. He loves to work and mentally he likes to think he has done enough. Chris has all the right attributes and he certainly ticks all the boxes but everything hinges on how he plays for Wigan.

"In my view, there's no reason why he can't go all the way and become first choice. He's now got a foot in the door and is highly rated.

"The lad has got everything. His reactions are good and from our point of view we've just got to keep him working out on the training ground. He has been unlucky with injury but is now coming into his prime and he is a bright lad who can learn for himself. When you look at Capello's squad, he went for three big keepers and in terms of stature they are imposing.

"That's the thing that sticks out so it can only be good for Kirky.

"I'm loving my role here at Wigan. I had seven good years at Birmingham and they didn't have a goalkeeping department when I went there but I developed things and I enjoy my role.

"The chance to work again with Steve Bruce was a wonderful opportunity and a big challenge.

"I greatly enjoy working with keepers and have inherited three more quality players because Chris has Mike Pollitt and Carlo Nash competing alongside him.

"Mike and Carlo want to play for as long as they can and that's great. I was playing until I was 41 at Forest Green. I also managed there but Steve Bruce asked me to go to Birmingham with him.

"I've spent 19 and a half years at Aston Villa and initially it was a wrench moving on but I wanted first team football and went on to West Brom and Millwall. It's great to still be involved passing on a bit of advice, helping players and there's a lot of competition at Wigan.

"All three keepers are very good and it's true to say keepers are mad - that's the first thing I look for in their criteria!"

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