EMMERSON Boyce is counting down the seconds to the big Championship kick-off – and for Wigan Athletic to take ‘the first step’ towards a Premier League return.
Latics entertain Reading at the DW Stadium, looking to make a real statement to the rest of the division.
Having narrowly missed out on promotion via the play-offs last term, Boyce is confident Latics can go one better and secure a return to the top flight.
“We’ve all been desperate for the season to start and now it’s finally here we can’t wait to get going,” Boyce told the Evening Post.
“It’s been a tough pre-season for us, but now the big kick-off is here we just want to get the three points and take the first step to getting back in the Premier League at the end of the season.
“Last year we felt the massive disappointment of not going up and we don’t want that feeling again. The expectation will again be there but we’re more than determined to make amends and we’ll take that in our stride.
“Three quality teams have come down from the Premier League, but we believe in the squad we have here.
“We’ve had a full pre-season under the manager, he’s managed to get his ideas across to us and we can’t wait to put them into practice.”
It won’t be easy for Latics, with the likes of Fulham, Cardiff and Nottingham Forest already splashing the cash this summer in pursuit of promotion. “The Championship is always a tough league but we have still got that hunger to succeed,” Boyce added.
“There’s a lot of big teams in there who are throwing around a lot of money. But we showed last year what we can do and hopefully we can do ourselves justice and get back to where we want to be.
“The main priority for us is to get back into the Premier League, and we’re looking forward to that challenge. We believe in the club and we believe in the town. We can do it.”