OWEN Coyle believes Wigan Athletic’s promotion push will rest on their ability to turn the DW into a fortress, after being handed two away trips to kick-off his reign.
Coyle knows all about the demands of the Championship, having won promotion to the top flight with Burnley five years ago.
And he knows Latics will have to hit the ground running if they are to establish themselves as promotion contenders.
“When you’re in the Championship, you know that regardless of whether you’re at home or away the fixtures are all going to be tough,” Coyle said.
“We’ve got Barnsley up first and then another trip to Bournemouth after the Community Shield, but they are great games to be involved in.
“Barnsley will be especially tough because they finished last season so well under the new manager (David Flitcroft), and we’ll need to make sure we represent everything that Wigan Athletic is all about.”
At least six of Wigan’s fixtures will be switched to Sunday to accommodate the club’s first-ever venture into European competition.
“Obviously with our involvement in the Europa League, it’s going to be a bit of a stop-start campaign,” Coyle acknowledged.
“But that’s something that we need to get our heads around fast and that’s what we’ll look to do.
“It’s a bit of a wait for the fans to see their side on home soil, and what we have to do is make the DW a fortress.
“Everybody who comes to Wigan needs to know that they are going to be put through the mill both on and off the pitch with our fans really driving us on.”
Some Latics fans will have already got the A-Z out ahead of trips to places like Brighton and Yeovil next term.
But Coyle insists no one game stands out from all the others for him at this stage.
“The first game I looked for was the opening game, because I just can’t wait to get started,” he said.
“There are a lot of big clubs in the Championship but you play them when you play them.
“We’ve got to make sure that we go into every game we play ready to go and trying to win the game in a style that is pleasing on the eye.
“There will be a number of months that are jam-packed with fixtures. But we have to make sure we both work hard and also rest at the right times so we’re fresh for each challenge.
“We’ll be looking to bring the players back a few days earlier for pre-season training, ahead of what we know will be a very busy season.
“A few of the players have been away on international duty and that’s something we’ll look at closely.
“But in the main we want them in, we want to get working with them as quickly as possible so we’re ready for the big kick-off.”