Gary Caldwell insists star striker Will Grigg will be fit and raring to go for the start of the Championship despite a restricted pre-season programme.
igan’s pre-season after being away with Northern Ireland at the Euros, and was back in with his club colleagues after the briefest of summer holidays.
Caldwell has tried to bring the player gradually back to the boil in the warm-up action, but the production line that saw him bag an impressive 28 goals in League One last term has so far to reignite.
With only one more pre-season friendly – tonight’s trip to Fleetwood – the Latics chief is adamant things will be right for the big kick-off at Bristol City a week tomorrow.
“Will trained a lot over the summer and then came back late for us,” Caldwell told the Evening Post.
“It’s games he needs now to sharpen up in front of goal.
“We’ve got another one at Fleetwood to prepare him for the start of the season, and I’m sure he’ll be ready for that when it comes.
“Although he trained all summer, he hasn’t played a match for the same length of time as the rest of the boys.
“It’s getting that match sharpness back into him and getting him prepared for the season.”
Captain Craig Morgan returned from a groin strain for the midweek win at Oldham, but defender Donervon Daniels and midfielder Emyr Huws are expected to be absent on the Fylde coast.
“Donervon’s knee’s still a bit puffy, and he’ll hopefully be back training towards the end of the week,” Caldwell revealed.
“Emyr’s been doing some work with the fitness coaches after rolling his ankle, and he’s still recovering.”
Injuries aside, Caldwell is happy with the general fitness levels just over a week before the real action starts.
“I looked at the data and some of them are nearing 200 kilometres,” he added.
“It’s an incredible amount of work, and we’ll slowly taper that down to make sure they’re sharp and ready to play 90 minutes at full speed.
“As the training load decreases, the sharpness will increase, so we’re ready for Bristol City.”