Gary Caldwell believes only ‘fine margins’ are standing between Wigan Athletic and a points tally that does justice to the quality in the squad.
Latics return from the international break at Sheffield Wednesday this afternoon, looking for a first win in four matches.
A return of four points from the opening five matches – as well as a League Cup exit at Oldham – is certainly not what Caldwell would have expected.
But he reckons the situation can be resolved by minor tweaking rather than mass overhaul.
“I think the start has certainly been inconsistent results-wise,” the Latics boss acknowledged.
“But performance-wise, it’s been pretty consistent, it’s been pretty good.
“What we have learned is you can’t make small errors.
“Fine details in games will cost you, and we have to learn from that.
“You look at the teams around us in the table, and their goal difference is minus three and minus four.
“Ours is zero, which shows it’s only been fine margins in the games we’ve lost, and we have to turn that around in our favour – and I’m sure we will.”
Caldwell believes the international break came at a good time for Latics, with their four new signings on the eve of the transfer deadline – Reece Burke, Nathan Byrne, Adam Le Fondre and Kaiyne Woolery – being allowed the opportunity to fully bed-in.
“Because of the international break we’ve been able to really put a lot into training,” Caldwell admitted.
“We had a behind-closed-doors game against Burnley at Euxton, we’ve had some 11-v-11s between ourselves at the stadium, we’ve managed to get some work into the players and the new-boys have got that understanding of how we want to play.
“We’ll go into the weekend refreshed and eager to get our season up and running in terms of the results.”
Latics will need all of that preparation to ready themselves for what will be a tough test at Hillsborough against a side that came agonisingly close to promotion last term.
“I think it’ll be a massive game, fantastic stadium, big crowd, and one of the games you want to get into the Championship to experience,” recognised Caldwell.
“They were right up there last season, got to the play-off final, where they didn’t really perform, and that was a real let-down for them.
“They’ll be really anxious to put that right this season, and they have a team full of individual talent that can hurt you.
“We’ve had an extra week to prepare for this game so it feels like we’ve covered everything.
“Usually in the Championship you don’t get that time to do that, but we feel we’re fully ready to put in a performance and get a positive result.”
Captain Craig Morgan is Wigan’s biggest injury worry, although David Perkins hasn’t recovered from the hamstring problem that’s sidelined him for the last two matches.
“Perks is still out, he’s had another niggle in his hamstring and he probably won’t be back until the end of next week,” Caldwell added.
“Morgs has felt his hamstring as well and we will assess that for this weekend.”
Caldwell looks set to hand out a couple of debuts in South Yorkshire, with ex-Wolves man Byrne set to solve the right-wing back problem.
Centre-back Burke, signed on a season-long loan from West Ham, is also expected to be pitched in even in Morgan proves his fitness.