Wigan Athletic boss Warren Joyce has received a second massive boost in the space of 24 hours with Donervon Daniels and Andy Kellett both coming through 90 minutes unscathed for the first time on their return from long-term injury.
Having watched the first team record a morale-boosting 2-1 victory at Huddersfield on Monday night, Joyce was then delighted to see the lesser-spotted duo back on the field for the Development Squad at Fleetwood.
Latics may have lost the game on penalties – after a Jordan Flores goal ensured a 1-1 draw in normal time – but of far more significance is the possibility of both Daniels and Kellett being added to the first-team picture ahead of the busy festive period.
Daniels struggled through the first two games of the season, at Bristol City and Oldham, before undergoing surgery to clean up a knee problem.
Kellett has been out even longer, having damaged knee ligaments at the beginning of pre-season.
Meanwhile, Joyce reckons the televised triumph at Huddersfield on Monday will only mean something if Latics can back it up against the Championship’s big guns over the coming weeks.
Latics face Derby, Aston Villa and Newcastle – three of the biggest budgets in the division – in the space of 11 days starting on Saturday.
But Joyce is hoping they can pick up where they off to lift themselves out of the bottom three.
“It won’t mean anything unless we follow it up with another good performance in the next game, then the next game, and the next game,” acknowledged the Latics boss.
“You’ve got to be consistent in football, and that means doing the right things, day in, day out.
“If you can do that for every second of every minute of every day, there’s a good chance you’ll do it on a Saturday.
“That’s not me being miserable, but there’s no point patting each other on the back after just one win.”