Watson in his element with Wigan 'buzzing'

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The Independent Football

The Wigan Athletic midfielder Ben Watson is confident he made the right decision in choosing the Latics over Middlesbrough in last month’s transfer window. Boro had agreed a £2m fee with Crystal Palace and the 23-year-old had undergone a medical and was on the verge of settling personal terms when Wigan made their interest known.

Watson immediately travelled down from Teesside and, after a few minutes talking to the Wigan manager, Steve Bruce, was convinced to reject the North-east in favour of the North-west. He is likely to be in the squad to face Gareth Southgate’s side, who lie second-bottom in the Premier League, at the Riverside on Saturday.

Watson has made two substitute appearances for his new club, having been out injured for six weeks before that, and has no regrets about his choice. “It was a tough decision but I think I made the right one. I was at Palace for 13 years and it was time for a change,” he said. “I was in Middlesbrough and my agent made me aware Wigan were interested and as soon as I knew that I wanted to speak to them.

“I spoke to Steve, who was gaffer at Palace when I was a young lad there, and he was straightforward with me. He spoke highly of the club but, walking into the training ground, there was a buzz about the place. Being seventh in the league you are going to be on a high and the lads were buzzing and that was probably the main factor.”

Watson was brought in just days after Wilson Palacios was sold to Tottenham, but stressed he should not be considered a direct replacement. “I’m a different player to Wilson. I just want to go out there and give it my best shot, week in, week out,” he added. “I feel like I have got lots to offer.”