MARTYN Waghorn admits the first month of Wigan Athletic’s season perfectly encapsulates the up-and-down nature of the Championship.
Latics followed their opening-day draw with Reading with back-to-back defeats at Charlton and Cardiff respectively.
However, they well and truly got back on track with home victories over Blackpool and Birmingham that saw them move back into the top half of the table before the international break.
And Waghorn says the three sides which prove best able to cope with the peaks and troughs of the Championship will be the three that win promotion.
“That’s what this league is all about, ups and downs all through the year,” he told the Evening Post.
“The first three games (including the Capital One Cup defeat at Burton) weren’t great, but we picked up at Cardiff and the last two games have shown the quality, class and strength in the squad.
“We’ve still got big players, top players coming back, and things are looking good at the moment.”
It wasn’t just the fact that Latics returned six points out of six from their home games against Blackpool and Birmingham, but more the nature of the performances that most impressed Waghorn.
“Against Blackpool we showed signs of what we’re all about, but Birmingham was just the complete team performance from start to finish,” the former Leicester man recognised.
“If we can keep playing like that it’s going to take a good team to beat us, because we’ve got plenty of strength in depth as well.
“That leads to better competition for places, and I think that’s been a big factor in us picking up.
“You’ve got players coming on to the field who really want to prove a point, and needing to work even harder to get into the team and stay there.”
Waghorn himself is a prime example of that particular theory, having come off the bench in the last outing against Birmingham to net the final goal.
“It’s always nice to get your first goal of the season,” he added. “I’ve been in and out of the team and I felt I needed to prove a point when I got the chance.
“I’ve been working as hard as I can, and making sure I was ready when I got the opportunity to show what I can do.”