AFTER enduring a tough spell on the sidelines at Nottingham Forest for the last 18 months, Warriors right back Tendayi Darikwa is brimming with confidence that he will revive his career at Wigan Athletic.
The 29-year-old completed a move to the League One side on Monday, having been deemed excess to requirements at Forest.
Last week, Chris Hughton, the Forest manager hinted a Darikwa exit after revealing that the defender was not in his plans.
Darikwa has not played at club level since March 2019 after sustaining a serious knee injury.
But having been the subject of interest from the Latics on two occasions, the former Premier League side saw a window of opportunity and made their move.
In his first interview at the club, Darikwa said he is determined to make the most of the opportunity he was afforded by Leam Richardson with whom he previously worked at Chesterfield back in 2010.
“I’m delighted, it’s happened quite quickly,” Darikwa told Latics TV. “I’m a Wigan Athletic player and I’m delighted to be here and I can’t wait to get started.
“I’ve not played too much football in the last 18 months after a bad injury. But I’m fit again and I can’t wait to get on the pitch and start playing competitive games again.
“I hope to help the team as quickly as possible. I’ve looked at the league table, of course we are in a tough position at the moment in the league. I think we have enough quality to get out of it. I want to come in and help the lads and hopefully move up the league.
“I’m fit and have been training with the first team at Forest since I came back from my injury and I haven’t missed a session. I’ve played a few international games as well and I came through them very well. It’s important now to play some competitive games at first team level, help the lads and hopefully get some wins as quick as possible.”
Darikwa said he is excited with the prospects of his reunion with Richardson’s who is recognises as big influence in his career.
“I spoke to Leam a few times over the past couple of weeks on the phone. He’s someone who has had a big effect on me at the start of my career when I was at Chesterfield so it’s nice to come in and help him out and — hopefully — together we can move up the table.
“First and foremost, I’m a defender so I want to come in and help the team be solid at the back.
“I also want to help the team get up the pitch and use my pace and my energy, so I can hopefully get a few assists and try and nick a few goals if I can.”