Scharner ready for return
By Pete Allison
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
Paul Scharner is eyeing a place in Wigan's starting XI after returning from injury.
Paul Scharner is eyeing a place in Wigan's starting XI after completing his comeback from injury.
The Austrian international has been out of action for three months with a knee injury, but after playing 90 minutes in the reserves and making a brief cameo appearance in Wigan's clash with Fulham, Scharner says he is ready for a return.
As The Latics look to move further away from the relegation zone, they face a crucial clash with fellow strugglers Charlton next weekend, a game which Scharner hopes to make an appearance in.
"My aim is to get into the team," he told the Wigan Evening Post.
"I will be doing all I can over the next week to push for a place because I feel really good now, 100 per cent back to full fitness."
The 27-year-old was heavily involved in the reserve side's 1-0 defeat to Bolton's second string in midweek, scoring at the wrong end to hand their Lancashire rivals the win.
But despite the own goal, Scharner says the competitive football has helped him in his recovery.
"The morning after the reserve game I was back in training," he continued.
"I just feel so much enthusiasm again after so long out.
"It was an eventful night for me. I thought I did well during the game, but it was a bit unfortunate at the end as the winning goal for Bolton came off my knee.
"These things happen in football, though. I'd much rather be out there involved in incidents like that than still be back in the treatment room."
The international break has provided Scharner with a further opportunity to reach full fitness, but he says it is matches that make the difference, rather than training.
"Playing matches makes all the difference. You can train as hard as you like, run and run, work in the gym, but you just can't replace the adrenaline of competition.
"Of course, reserve matches are not quite as high a level of energy as in the first team, but it is definitely a step up from the training ground."