OWEN Coyle declared himself a very happy man after seeing Wigan Athletic continue their 100 per cent record under his stewardship.
Just over 24 hours after arriving back in the UK from a successful tour of the USA, Latics saw off the challenge of Greek outfit Atromitos at the Leigh Sports Village.
First-half goals from Jordi Gomez and Marc-Antoine Fortune were enough to secure a 2-1 triumph in a game that ended on a sour note, with the visitors losing their cool and having a couple of players fortunate to escape red cards.
Coyle, though, believes it was another important step towards the big Championship kick-off at Barnsley on Saturday week.
“People have got to understand they are a very good team, with designs on winning the Greek league and in Europe this year,” Coyle told the Evening Post.
“That’s why we took the game, we wanted another really good test.
“For our part, we were delighted with the way it went on a number of levels.
“You’ve got to remember we had two flights back from America yesterday, and quite a few lads will have had a bit of jet-lag.
“Games like this are always liable to end up a bit feisty because everyone wants to win, and they are a very proud team.
“But overall it was a tremendous exercise, both with and without the ball, and all credit to the players for that.”
Coyle confirmed Shaun Maloney was rested, but will probably feature at Morecambe in Wigan’s next pre-season friendly tomorrow night.