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Deal dilemmas for Latics boss

Date published: 14 April 2014

Every Latics contract renewal offer will be judged on its own merits — but only after Athletic confirm their place in Sky Bet League One next season.

Manager Lee Johnson has only FIVE players with deals running through next season, though there are options on five more whose deals expire this summer.

Long-serving duo Jonathan Grounds and James Wesolowski are among those men without contracts beyond the summer.

Johnson says elements other than effectiveness on the pitch will come into the reckoning.

“The division we are in affects things,” said Johnson, who described how contracts are often drawn up with different financial rewards for each division.

“Each individual case is so different. Age, resale value, injury record and types of injuries, are they going to play 46 games, are they key men, what potential do they have – and what do the players want? To stay or go? All these factors come into it.”

Athletic had a fixture-free weekend which was a double-edged sword. The manager wanted to carry through the momentum from the 3-2 win at Bradford, but also had the chance to nurse injured players back to fitness ahead of a busy late run to the end of the season.

“It’s striking a balance between people not thinking we have cracked it yet, in terms of avoiding relegation, and also taking the heat off the intensity in training and nursing a few back to fitness,” said Johnson.

“Hopefully they will have a good couple of weeks of training now, coming up to the run-in of the final five games.”

Jonson Clarke-Harris, James Dayton, Danny Philliskirk, Korey Smith, Rhys Turner

Connor Brown, Jonathan Grounds, James Wesolowski, Terry Dunfield, Carl Winchester, Adam Lockwood, Kirk Millar, Paul Rachubka, Danny Gosset, Luke Simpson, Genseric Kusunga *, Charlie MacDonald *, David Mellor *, James Wilson *, Anton Rodgers *
* = contract option for a further year

Adel Gataifi, John Paul Kissock, David Worrall, Gary Harkins, Joel Byrom


Simple really.


Connor Brown,
Jonathan Grounds,
James Wesolowski,
Adam Lockwood,
Paul Rachubka,
Danny Gosset,
Luke Simpson,
James Wilson


Terry Dunfield,
Carl Winchester,
Kirk Millar,
Genseric Kusunga,
Charlie MacDonald,
David Mellor,
Anton Rodgers

Keep, Brown, Harkins grounds, weso , lockwood, wilson, rabs, wilson

LJ you keep telling fans how good Dayton is but he's not produced anything like you keep talking about, he's never going to be good enough. All these can go, Kissock, Dunfield, Macdonald and Dayton, shame he's got a contract he could go and we wouldn't miss him for one minute.

Lets not let this mini run cloud our judgement. Get rid of the lot. All season they've not been good enough. We easily could be in the bottom four and are still not even close to being safe. Trust me this lot will take us down. And deep down, you know it.

On the out of contract list I'd keep Wilson, Grounds and Wes on the efforts of this season, but other than that and considering all their losing, lack of will to win performances I wouldn't miss any of them.

Dan Jones has just been booted out of Port Vale. Did really well when he was on loan here from Wolves, should be affordable, worth a look and keen to restart his career.


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