Latics defender James Perch says that pre-season will be vital to any success this campaign as Uwe Rosler puts his stamp on the squad at the DW Stadium.
Rosler took charge of Latics midway through the 2013-14 season and almost led his side to promotion from the Sky Bet Championship only to lose out in the play-offs to eventual winners QPR.
And Perch says there is optimism amongst the players that they can go all the way this season.
“I think pre-season is one of the most important parts of the season,” Perch said. “I think if you manage to stay injury free and stay fit it will put you in good stead for the rest of the season.
“All of the players and staff are feeling optimistic but I’m sure the rest of the Championship are also thinking the same thing.
“We have a new boss and everyone is expecting us to do well from the start this time.
“He has time now to get his ideas across and at the beginning the pressure isn’t as great as towards the end of the season.
“Once we get into the swing of it, we’ll be fine. Everyone is looking forward to August 9 [home to Reading] and it’s all about the next six or seven weeks.”
On pre-season itself, Perch says it’s always the hardest part for footballers as they aim to get themselves in peak condition for the opening day of the campaign.
“You quickly fall back into it as if you’d never been away,” he added. “Last night I felt quite nervous about coming back; it feels almost like the first day of school but once you get your kit on and see all the lads, you slip straight back into it.
“I think everyone suffers throughout the first few days but people have to keep themselves fit throughout the offseason.
“I keep myself fit throughout the offseason and that’s modern football - you can’t slack off for six weeks otherwise you’ll come back and really struggle.”