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Jason Scotland admits he is getting 'hungrier and hungrier' to open his scoring account for Wigan Athletic.

The Trinidad and Tobago international proved to be a prolific marksman in the SPL with Dundee United and St Johnstone, and averaged better than a goal a game for Swansea at Championship level.

However, he has not managed to break his duck in the top flight since following Roberto Martinez to the DW Stadium in the summer.

And despite performing a crucial role for the team as lone frontman, he admits it is starting to weigh on his mind.

Scotland revealed: "I'm hungry for my first goal. Each week goes by without a goal and it makes me hungrier and hungrier.

"But I have to be patient, keep working hard and believing that it will come.

"It's important to play for the team and not become obsessed with scoring for my own benefit. That way, when the goal does come it will be to the benefit of the team.

"The guys have been telling me to be patient and that it will come eventually and, although it gets frustrating at times, as a striker I've got to stay focused and be patient.

"If you try to rush things and force a goal by shooting on sight, it can be detrimental to the team and ruin your
pattern of play.

"So I've got to stay focused and carry on doing what's best for the team. And, by doing that, hopefully my chance will come."

Scotland started the season on the bench, but was handed his first start in the win over Chelsea at the end of September – and has not looked back.

Top scorer Hugo Rodallega has even been moved out to the left wing to accommodate Scotland's presence up top, and he admits it is a role he relishes.

"Playing the lone striker role is the one I prefer," he admitted.

"When I was at Swansea, working with the gaffer, we started playing with two up front, before changing it round to just one.

"For the past two seasons I've been used to playing that role and, although it can be difficult, I know the gaffer has confidence in me. I've just got to keep working hard to make sure it works."

Scotland hardly had a sniff against Portsmouth at the weekend, although he will not be the only Wigan player anxious to make amends when Fulham visit the DW Stadium on Sunday.

And the 30-year-old says the clash against the Cottagers cannot be underestimated in terms of the need to bounce back from the Fratton Park horror show.

"It's a big game for us, especially after the Portsmouth result," he added. "Everybody was disappointed at the weekend, so we'll be going for all three points this weekend.

"It'll be great playing at home in front of our fans, who are always chanting our name.

"They've allowed us to enjoy our football without putting pressure on us, and it's a fantastic atmosphere to have when you're playing.

"We've had some big teams come to play at the DW and we've been doing really well against them, so I hope the fans have been enjoying it so far and hopefully we can give them more enjoyable moments."


Jason Scotland the new Emile Heskey
vitalfootball.co.uk


Wigan Athletic boss Roberto Martinez has the utmost faith in Latics striker Jason Scotland even though he has yet to score since his move from Championship club Swansea City in the summer.

Having worked with the Trinidad and Tobago international for the past two years Martinez knows enough about the big man to realize that he brings a lot more than goals to the side, he appears to have taken up the role so successfully played by Emile Heskey, a sort of battering ram at the head of the forward line.

Like Scotland, Heskey wasn`t prolific during his time at the club but he brought others in and had a great partnership with Amr Zaki in the early part of last season, now swap Zaki for Rodallega and Heskey for Scotland and you can see similarities in the way Scotland plays the foil for Hugo just like Heskey did for Zaki.

Arguably Scotland`s best game for Wigan so far was the away win at Burnley where he held play up superbly and laid on a chance for Rodallega to strike a great goal to put the Latics 2-1 up in the game, Martinez isn`t worried about the lack of goals from his number 9 and says that although he has taken a big step in coming from the Championship to the Premier League, he has the ability and the character to be successful.

Martinez speaking about Jason Scotland says: 'It is important that strikers are not judged solely on goals they score because, the way we play, we have to be patient in the build-up. We have to look to find the chances to score, we don't chase the chances, and our strikers are vital in doing that.

'Jason was particularly outstanding in the win at Burnley. He worked hard and he deserved credit because too often strikers are judged by their goals or lack of goals.

'I never had any doubt that the players coming in had the quality to adapt, but, more than the footballing ability, it's down to character and attitude.

'Obviously, it is a big step up to come from the Championship like Jason did, but you need to adapt individually first before you do so collectively.

'That is why it is going to be a transitional time for him, but, his contribution to the team has been huge.'