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Last Updated: Tuesday, 10 July 2007, 12:00 GMT 13:00 UK
Aghahowa eager to stay at Wigan
By Oluwashina Okeleji
BBC Sport, Lagos

Julius Aghahowa
Aghahowa was brought to Wigan by former manger Paul Jewell
Nigerian striker Julius Aghahowa wants to stay on and fight for his place in the first-team at Premier League club Wigan Athletic.

The Super Eagle is determined to impress new manager Chris Hutchings after struggling in his first season.

Aghahowa, who was brought in by former boss Paul Jewell seven months ago, says he has now come to terms with the pace of English football.

"This is England and I will fight to prove myself in the Premiership.

"I spent seven years in Ukraine and when I came to England it was certainly a different ball game," Aghahowa told BBC Sport.

"Any player that comes to England faces the shock of a new system, but having spent some months here, I now have a chance to prove myself.

Our new manager is ready to give everyone an opportunity and I am ready to take mine
Julius Aghahowa

"I gave my all during training and got some games towards the end of last season but now I want to do more."

Last season Wigan escaped relegation on the final day of the season but the 25-year-old is confident about the next campaign.

"We have a new manager who is ready to give everyone equal opportunities and I am ready to take mine," he explained.

"Last season was the first time I experienced a relegation battle; the fans, the players and officials were simply awesome, despite the massive challenge.

"I'm happy we all pulled through in the end."

When Aghahowa arrived at Wigan in January, Jewell said the Nigerian was a "quality striker with a proven pedigree", comments which spurred the player on.

"When people think positively of you then you want to keep fighting for them and defend the club's colour."

The Premiership is indeed a long way from home for Aghahowa who began his career at hometown club Bendel Insurance of Benin, in south-western Nigeria.

He joined Tunisian side Esperance Sportive in 1999 for an undisclosed fee.

In the summer of 2000, the striker transferred to eastern Europe as Ukrainian giant Shaktar Donetsk snapped him from Esperance for nearly $US4m.

Aghahowa has scored 16 goals in 33 appearances for Nigeria.



SEE ALSO
Wigan complete deal for Aghahowa
30 Jan 07 |  African
Aghahowa seals Ukrainian title
14 May 06 |  African


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