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Last Updated: Thursday, 4 May 2006, 09:36 GMT 10:36 UK
Jason Roberts column
Wigan striker Jason Roberts
By Jason Roberts
Wigan striker

The big talking point this week is obviously Wayne Rooney's metatarsal injury. This is something I know all about.

When I was in my second season at West Brom I broke my fifth metatarsal three times and it ruined my season.

Wayne Rooney
Jason Roberts has suffered a similar injury to Rooney's

I broke it in pre-season, missed a couple of months and came back too early.

I played half an hour and it went again, so I was out for another three months, and after 12 games it went again.

It's such a frustrating injury to have, because there's nothing you can do about it. You just have to get the rest or you'll break down.

It's one thing to come back in six weeks, it's another to come back fit and ready to play at the highest level.

My injury was to the fifth metatarsal, which is the worst, as it's on the outside and takes the most pressure.

But if anyone can come back from this, it's Wayne Rooney - he's a professional and he's got the best people around him.

England have got a lot of good players, so maybe the other players will just have to up their games if he's not ready for the World Cup, but I'm sure they're up for the challenge.

If he's not fit and the decision about replacing him was up to me, I'd take Darren Bent and Jermain Defoe instead.

Sven would have to take one of them anyway, so why not take both? Defoe hasn't been first choice but we all know what he can do on his day and he has everything in his locker to score at that level.

It's a double-edged sword - managers will look at our players now, but we've done well enough that we can bring players in too.

The other big event of the weekend was our game with Portsmouth.

It was a really strange atmosphere - we tried hard but we just couldn't get our game up to the right level, so all credit to them, they deserved it and I'm happy they're staying up.

It seemed a bit weird with Jimmy Bullard not being in the Wigan team because of his move to Fulham - he's been such a key part of the club's rise.

We just turned up one day and he wasn't there, but that's how it happens in football - I'm sure everyone at Wigan expresses their happiness at him progressing, so good luck to him.

Portsmouth players celebrate
Victory at Wigan helped Portsmouth stay up

People don't move on if they're bad players, and we've all proved we're good enough to play in this league.

It's a bit of a double-edged sword - managers will look at Wigan players now, but we've done well enough that we can bring players in too.

It's a sign of the progress we've made this season - if you finish in the top 10, you want to finish top five. If you finish in the top five, you want to win it. That just shows how our expectations have risen this season.

A lot of people have said we might struggle next term, but if we play like we have done this season again, we'll do ok.

This has been a fantastic first Premiership season, so to end it against Arsenal, in the final game at Highbury, will be an absolute pleasure.

It's a bit dangerous, though, because it's hard to deal with Arsenal on your best day anyway, let alone on what's a celebration day for them.

So we don't want to go there and get battered.

Jason Roberts columns


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