Graham Barrow insists another automatic promotion from League One for Wigan Athletic is ‘do-able’ – although it will be another ‘tough’ mission.
Latics drew a line under a second ultimately unsuccessful Championship campaign in three years with a 1-1 home draw with Leeds United.
They finished nine points adrift of safety in the final reckoning - a far cry from the joyous scenes on the same ground 12 months earlier, when Latics were picking up the League One title in the sunshine.
“The thing with football is, it’s so fresh in your mind,” acknowledged the Latics interim boss.
“It’s only 12 months ago we were celebrating winning League One, dancing on the pitch.
“We know it’s do-able, and we’ve got the basis of the squad here that can do it.
“It’s going to be a tough league next year, no doubt about that.
“But I think the squad as is looks strong enough, there’s goals in the team.
“That’s been our problem this season, but I’ve never had Will Grigg fit while I’ve been in charge.
“There’s been a lot of serious injuries to key players, and this is the first time I’ve ever mentioned that.
“I’ve not gone on about it on a week-to-week basis, because then it becomes like an excuse, and a reason for the players to hide behind.
“It would have been nice to have had some of those players – like Grigg, (Alex) Gilbey, (Omar) Bogle, (Nick) Powell – available on a more regular basis.
“If you take some big hitters out of any team, anyone would struggle to get results.
“But onwards and upwards, and let’s get ready for next year.”
The future of several of the Wigan players - including skipper Stephen Warnock and David Perkins, last season’s player of the year – are unclear, with their contracts expiring this summer.
“There’s a chance that some of them will stay, but we have a big squad - and there has to be room for a bit of freshness about it,” added Barrow.
“Obviously that’s out of my hands now. It’s up to whoever comes in.”