Nick Powell was back in the Wigan Athletic side that travelled to Pride Park to take on Derby County last night.
The attacker had been absent from the matchday squad for the visit of Middlesbrough last weekend with Wigan Today suggesting social media and message boards were full of rumours of a falling out with Paul Cook.
Now, the Latics boss has moved to clear up any concern surrounding his absence, citing illness as a reason for being left out of the team.
With the club struggling this season, tensions will surely be running high with all involved with the club wanting them to do well and improve on the pitch.
Powell will be no different having become a fans’ favourite since his move from Manchester United back in 2016.
And he will inevitably be hurt by the suggestions, and the club’s current struggle – but will know how to handle the situation.
The 24-year-old was in the side that was relegated from the Championship two years ago before their promotion last season.
The Latics are 19th in the division, and outside the bottom three but three points and have won just three games since October, losing 12 times in that run.
Powell needs to be a leader and rally his side to whip them back into form and away from the relegation places.
He will be concerned as he will remember their drop to League One two years ago and see the signs of a team sleepwalking back from where they came.
Now is the time to use his experience and status in the side wake Wigan up before it’s too late and they are back in the third tier once more.
Powell needs to stand out and be counted at once and hope he can drag the rest of the team with him.
Failing to do that could be terminal for the DW Stadium outfit.