GEORGE Johnston is pumped up by the thought of facing his former club Wigan Athletic this weekend.

Smarting from defeat at Sheffield Wednesday, Wanderers are keen to get back to winning ways at the UniBol for what should be a passionately fought local encounter.

The Latics have sold out their allocation of 4,000 seats in the away end and indications from the UniBol suggest ticket sales among the home fans have also been brisk.

Back in August, Johnston was part of a Bolton side beaten on penalties by Wigan in the Carabao Cup and the chance to gain a measure of revenge in the league is one the youngster is eager to seize.

“It should be a good atmosphere, I can’t wait,” said Johnston, who spent five months on loan at the DW Stadium last season, helping the club to edge away from relegation. “It was a game I’d checked on the fixture list when it first came out and I’m looking forward to it.

“I know they are quite direct, aggressive, well-organised, well-drilled but I think we have the tools to dominate the game.”

Johnston played 22 times for Wigan in a loan spell from Feyenoord as they scraped away from the bottom three after months of turmoil in administration.

The defender turned down a chance to stay at the DW in the summer to sign for Bolton and admits he is enjoying his current spell in League One more than the last.

“It has changed for me,” he said. “At Wigan last season, because they were in a relegation battle, you’d do anything to get to the three points. I am not saying we don’t do that here but there is definitely more of a style of play, the way we want to do things is different, we are possession-based and want to play through teams.

“I took my experiences from the back end of last season into this one and I have enjoyed my time here, settled in well, now I just want to keep improving.”

Wanderers will have a decision to make on the right side of their defence after Gethin Jones picked up his fifth league booking of the season at Hillsborough, meaning he will be suspended for Saturday.

Harry Brockbank looks favourite to start against the Latics, having impressed in the Papa John’s Trophy against Liverpool’s Under-21s.


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