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Zenit sign Bart Simpson

The Toe Poke 6 hours ago
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 Posted by ESPN Staff
Dec 3, 2007

Scharner hails Bruce effect on Wigan

Paul Scharner has revealed new Wigan boss Steve Bruce has injected a much-needed dose of confidence into the Latics' ranks.

Despite suffering a nightmare start against Manchester City on Saturday, conceding after just 28 seconds, Wigan rallied and were largely felt to have had the better of the north-west derby draw.

While their efforts did not earn them victory, the point at least ended the run of eight straight defeats which triggered the dismissal of Chris Hutchings.

It was not enough for Wigan to scramble out of the relegation zone. In fact, following weekend wins for Sunderland and Birmingham, they are slightly worse off than they were before.

Yet Bruce remains supremely optimistic he can guide Wigan out of their current sticky situation. And Scharner feels the former Birmingham chief has already had a major impact at the club.

'The manager has brought a new energy to the club,' he said.

'I suppose any player would say this but things are definitely different.

'He is very verbal and has given us all a lot of confidence. He wants us to be difficult to play against and I think we have already shown it is working.'

The general belief is that prior to Bruce's arrival, Wigan would have simply folded after such a woeful start.

Instead, they merely shrugged their shoulders and fought back, with Scharner getting the all-important equaliser.

It was only the Austrian's second goal of the season but Bruce will hope for more from Scharner, a one-time target during his Birmingham days, who has performed a U-turn on his decision to quit international football but must now hope Josef Hickersberger puts a long-running feud between the pair to one side so he can feature for his struggling country and Euro 2008.