Having played in the top leagues in various different European countries, Marc-Antoine Fortune has only spent a period of three weeks in the Championship, during a loan spell with Doncaster Rovers in 2011, but he says his time spent in South Yorkshire gave him an insight as to what is needed in the division.
“It is a tough division and a very different division to the Premier League.
“I only played in the Championship for a short period of time when I went on loan to Doncaster but it was a good experience for me.
“Every game is much more of a battle and you have to be prepared for the physical challenge.”
The 32-year-old added that it’s not just the physical battle that the players will have to be ready for, saying:
“We know how much effort we have to put in this season and we’re going to be a team that others want to beat because we’re FA Cup winners and have come from the Premier League.
“We have to be prepared and serious in what we do then everything should be okay.”
A pre-season which garnered four goals for the former West Bromwich Albion man was successful for both him and the team but the French Guiana born forward believes there’s nothing as good as a competitive match.
“Once we start the season against Barnsley we aren’t going to stop until May next year,” said Fortune.
“Pre-season and friendly games are good but there’s nothing like playing in a match that means something and has something to win available.”
On the amount of games Latics have to face Fortune added:
“As a team we have to be ready physically but also mentally and personally for me when you choose to be a footballer all you want to do is play games, so the amount of fixtures will not be a problem.
“I always go into games with a big smile and I’m always happy to be there so mentally it is easy on a personal level.
“It’s going to be a long season but I’m really looking forward to it and I’m ready for it.”
In the build-up to the season the additions brought in by Owen Coyle have blended into the squad, and Fortune believes there is the right mix of players for a successful Championship campaign.
“We’ve got guys like Shaun (Maloney) and Jordi (Gomez) who exceptional players on the ball and we have the physical side of the game too with strong players like Grant (Holt) and myself.
“The gaffer has done a really good job of creating a team that has talent in every position, it’s something we are going to need this season with so many games ahead of us.
“It’s vital that we have a good mix of players in the squad and so far we have.”
There have been 30 different debut goal scorers for Latics in the Football League, but Fortune admits it’s not all about him scoring as long as his input can help the team in any way.
“It would be nice to get a debut goal against Barnsley but if I can play any part in us being successful then that will be the most important thing.
“I don’t thing about goals, goals, goals all of the time because as much as I like to score I also like to help the team and be the best that I can for the group.
“If I’m doing that then the goals will come.”