Bruce praises 'fantastic' Kirkland

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Wigan manager Steve Bruce has given an insight into Chris Kirkland's training regime, which he believes will help the goalkeeper reclaim the England number one jersey.

Kirkland, who has been troubled by back problems, made a string of superb saves in their 2-1 victory over West Brom.

Bruce said: "We have to thank our goalkeeper - he was fantastic - and in my eyes is one of the best goalkeepers in the country if not the best."

He added: "With his fragile back we have decided to put the reins on him and keep him fresh. That's why we have changed his training regime.

"He was one of the old-fashioned types who just wanted balls blasted at him from six yards. He was a workaholic. He would be on the pitch at 9am and still there at 2pm. That work left him a bit stiff.

"Now he works a lot in the gym on strength and conditioning work. If he goes with England he trains twice a day but he can't do that. We have had this conversation with England.

"They understand that until he gets himself into the right condition, which we hope is around the corner."

Bruce admitted Wigan had luck on their side as he achieved back-to-back wins for the first time since he took charge of the club a year ago.

He said: "The big turning point was when (James) Morrison went through and Kirkland made the save. Then we went up the park and scored.

"West Brom will feel mugged and rightly so. But you have to give credit to our lads. We did not play well but we stuck at it and got the result. So we take it and move on. It was vitally important to get the win especially against a team at the bottom."

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West Bromwich Albion
Chris Kirkland
Premier League
Steve Bruce
Wigan Athletic

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