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McClean: I had to leave Sunderland

10 August 2013 14:02

Former Sunderland winger James McClean has insisted he had to leave the club, after signing for Wigan Athletic.

The 24-year-old made 69 appearances over two seasons at the Stadium of Light, but struggled for form through much of last season, despite only missing two Premier League games.

However, his time on Wearside was littered with off-field incidents, including the refusal to wear a shirt with a poppy woven into it to commemorate Remembrance Day last year.

The winger was subsequently subjected to death threats, and admitted his form had dipped as a result.

"I really do believe this is the right move for me," he told The Shields Gazette.

"Obviously things had gone wrong for me at Sunderland.

"I’m fully aware that I made mistakes, and while I would also admit to losing my confidence, I certainly wasn’t enjoying my football.

"I’ve already held my hand up admitting the mistakes I’ve made, but I also believe I’ve learned from those experiences, and moved on.

"The move to Wigan is the right one, but I will have regrets leaving Sunderland."

Wigan boss Owen Coyle, who led his side to an opening-day 4-0 win over Barnsley last week, revealed that McClean had accepted a pay cut in order to move to the DW Stadium.

He will hope to make his debut for the club in Sunday's Community Shield against Manchester United.

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Premier League table

# Team MP D P
1 2 +5 6
2 2 +4 6
3 2 +4 6
4 2 +2 6
5 2 +1 4
6 2 +1 4
7 2 +1 4
8 2 +1 3
9 2 -1 3
10 2 +0 2
11 2 +0 2
12 2 +0 2
13 2 -1 1
14 2 -1 1
15 2 -1 1
16 2 -2 1
17 2 -2 1
18 2 -3 0
19 2 -3 0
20 2 -5 0

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