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Will Grigg gets Wigan boss Gary Caldwell's backing for Euro 2016

Wigan manager Gary Caldwell has backed Will Grigg's Euro 2016 bid by insisting he is one of the best attacking options Northern Ireland have.

The 24-year-old striker finished as the top scorer in Sky Bet League One with 25 goals to spearhead Latics' title-winning campaign in what was Grigg's third successive promotion out of the division following elevations with Brentford and MK Dons.

However, despite his impressive form, Grigg was left out of his country's most recent squad in March as Northern Ireland boss Michael O'Neill thought he would be better suited featuring for his club.

Seven-cap international Grigg's last appearance came 12 months ago and he is not certain to make the 23-man squad headed for France next month, particularly after recent call-up Conor Washington's impressive performance in the most recent friendly with Slovenia.

However, Caldwell insists O'Neill has to pick Grigg based on his sparkling form for Wigan.

"For me, he's got to go," Caldwell said.

"He's someone who's in form and scoring goals. If Northern Ireland have got better strikers than him then I'd like to see them because he is somebody that I believe can be a real asset for them at the Euros this summer."

Although Grigg has been prolific in the third tier of English football once again, scoring 25 times after bagging 20 for MK Dons last term, he is yet to play in the Championship.

Washington can attest to the difficulty in the step up having so far failed to find the net for QPR, whom he moved to in January following 15 goals in half a season with League One Peterborough.

Caldwell is convinced Grigg can flourish in the Championship, though.

"He believes it," the Scot added. "He has to improve, like I've said to everyone. He has to step up his game a little bit to compete at the Championship level but he's got all the attributes to be a success at that level.

"We believe in him, which I think is important. Maybe at other clubs he didn't get that, but we believe in him and back him to score the goals."


From Belfast Telegraph