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mcclean break ‘Jimmy has been brilliant with me coming here’ – Jamie McGrath hails McClean influence as he looks to Wigan future

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Jamie McGrath and James McClean of Republic of Ireland in action against Sergej Milinkovic­-Savic of Serbia. Photo by Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile

Jamie McGrath and James McClean of Republic of Ireland in action against Sergej Milinkovic­-Savic of Serbia. Photo by Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile

Jamie McGrath and James McClean of Republic of Ireland in action against Sergej Milinkovic­-Savic of Serbia. Photo by Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile

JAMIE McGrath says he hopes that his move to promotion-chasing Wigan Athletic can boost his international ambitions.

And the former Dundalk player says that Ireland teammate James McClean was instrumental in him making the decision to leave St Mirren and join the League One side.

McGrath's move to Wigan went through late on Monday night and while he was not signed in time to feature in their league battle with Oxford on Tuesday, he's keen to make an immediate impact with a Latics side who are pushing for automatic promotion to the Championship, with a focus also on adding to the five senior caps which McGrath won under Stephen Kenny last year.

“I’m delighted to be here and hopefully that leads to more caps in the future but I have to focus here first and get down to work," McGrath said.

“Growing up, James [McClean] was one of the main men when me and all my mates used to go and watch. Jimmy has been brilliant with me coming here, I rang him a few times and he rang me, and I also know Will [Keane] from the summer. They are both top lads and have already made me feel welcome from the get go.

“It helps massively when you know a few players and by all accounts, it’s a great dressing room and the boys seem top drawer. They’ve really welcomed me in and I cannot wait to get the boots on and get going.

"I’m absolutely over the moon,” he added. “It was a bit late on Monday night but I’m delighted to get the deal done and I’m delighted to be a Wigan Athletic player. I’m really looking forward to what is ahead. It was a bit of a stress but thankfully it’s done and I can look forward to the future. I’m delighted to be here and hopefully I can contribute and help the team as best as we can.

“I spoke to [manager] Leam Richardson on the phone numerous times and got a very good impression from what he was saying. I’ve watched a few of the games so I know what the team is about so I’m looking forward to get my boots on and get ready to hit the ground running."

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