Chris Kirkland is hoping to extend his present contract, which expires at the end of the season, with the Latics .

The 30 year old goalkeeper returned from his loan spell with Doncaster after playing just one game for Rovers an suffering a recurrance of his on-going back problems.

However Kirkland is hoping to put his injury problems behind him, regain his place in the team, and push for a new deal.

Speaking to the Daily Mirror, Kirkland said: "First of all, I'd like to regain my place at Wigan and sign a new deal. I understand that teams are going to be suspicious, but I hope somebody will take a chance like Paul Jewell did when I came here.

"That paid off for him and the club and whoever takes me will get a player that is ready to shine again. They will get a player who is hungry to put this behind me, too.

"If there was no end in sight, I would be devastated, but I know I am nearly there. People only need to see me training to see that.

"Over the period I've been out of the team at Wigan, I have been fit. Last season, I only missed 14 training sessions. This season, I hadn't missed a single one until I got injured with Doncaster.

"People are going to laugh, but I am more happy with my body now than I ever have been. I know I'm nearly there. People will say, 'how can he say that after everything that has happened?', but I know I am getting there. I will get there."

The Latics presently have four goalkeepers at the club, although Mike Pollitt is edging towards 40 and youngster Lee Nicholls is short on experience.

Al-Habsi 2