Uwe Rosler is confident Wigan Athletic can use the international break to kickstart their troubled campaign.
Latics return to action this weekend with the visit of Brentford to the DW Stadium, desperately in need of three points against the German’s former employers.
Rosler and his charges are hoping for a change in fortunes from when they last resumed after a fortnight off, with the six-match block of fixtures producing just three points from six matches courtesy of a trio of draws.
The Latics chief believes a drop in intensity during their last international break may have contributed to some taking their eyes off the ball – and he’s made steps to ensure it won’t happen again.
“We have tried to things a little bit different,” Rosler told the Evening Post.
“I think last time we lacked what I call ‘competitive match training’, and it cost us.
“When you go two weeks without training or playing at the intensity that you will play in the games to come, you will find things hard.
“To avoid that situation, we arranged an internal game last week against Rotherham, and it was a big success. I saw a lot of promising performances.
“No-one got injured, all of the players who needed 90 minutes – Oriol Riera, James Tavernier, Adam Forshaw and Callum McManaman – managed to get them.”
Latics showed signs of picking up their form with back-to-back draws against high-flying Nottingham Forest and Wolves before the break.
But Rosler wouldn’t be shy about making changes based on what he seen at Christopher Park in the meantime.
“Like Roberto (Martinez) used to say, football will make the decision,” he explained.
“I am maybe a little bit different in terms of others managers, but for me it’s very important what happens in training.
“When someone is consistently knocking on the door by training extremely well, he will get his chance for me. I do not believe in giving everyone a free pass to just play well at the weekend and spend the week ticking over.
“That is not how I see football – every day should be a day to develop.
“The quality of training has definitely improved in recent weeks and the results have improved accordingly.
“Obviously the big test will be the weekend, but having three out of the next four games at home gives us great reason to be optimistic.
“Against Nottingham Forest we all wanted the performance and we got one.
“We’ve set the standard now and we can’t fall below that in terms of tempo, energy and desire.”