Latics have no fear, says Chow

Tim Chow

Tim Chow

Tim Chow insists Wigan Athletic are going to be doing far more than ‘making up the numbers’ on their return to the Championship.

Latics kick-off the new campaign at Bristol City on Saturday, returning to the second tier after a 12-month adventure in League One.

The last time Latics were in the Championship, two seasons ago, they were the bookies’ pre-season favourites to win promotion back to the Premier League.

Things, of course, didn’t exactly go to plan, with Latics exiting the division at the wrong end after a car-crash campaign on and off the pitch.

Expectations are rather more moderate this time round, with most experts seeing survival as a more realistic target than promotion.

However, with the euphoria of winning the League One title still lingering in the air, Chow can’t see any reason why Latics can’t aim high in their new surroundings.

“We’re not going up to the Championship to make up the numbers,” he told the Evening Post.

“The important thing now is to kick on and do as well as we can.

“Only time will tell, but we’ve got a young squad, a hungry squad, also with a bit of experience.

“The gaffer’s added some good players this summer and there’s going to be more to come – we’ll see how we get on.”

Latics need only look at the likes of Bournemouth and Southampton as recent examples of teams that have climbed from the third tier to the top flight in the blink of an eye.

“Something like that opens your eyes, and it gives you motivation to keep doing what you’re doing,” Chow acknowledged.

“You’re thinking: Imagine if we kicked on and actually got to the Premier League – what do we do then?

“Then there’s the other teams you see out there who were also being rewarded for doing well, and it does make you want to go back.”

This summer has been one of change for Latics, having swapped their training base at Christopher Park for their plush new home at Euxton.

“It was pretty strange, for the first time in my life, going to training and it not be at Christopher Park,” Chow recognised.

“But it’s really nice, and it’s what the club’s needed for a while now.

“Hats off to the chairman, who’s come in and shown he is hungry to get success right the way down.

“Hopefully it will allow us to take the next step – not just the first team but also the academy.”