HEAD of performance Chris Haslam has hailed Wigan Athletic’s senior players for the way they have embraced Uwe Rosler’s regime.
The Latics squad is now back at Christopher Park after a successful training camp in Germany.
Rosler’s men will face home friendlies against Walsall (Friday) and Besiktas (next Tuesday) before returning to Germany for another intense period of training.
The meticulous schedule is designed to have the players raring to go for the new season, which gets under way on August 9.
Wigan’s players have really been put through their paces in readiness for the high-tempo style of play Rosler wants to play.
And Haslam admits he has been taken aback at how open the players have been to the new way of thinking.
“At previous clubs I’ve worked at, the senior players were sometimes not easy to work with,” he told the Evening Post.
“But the refreshing thing about Wigan is the senior players are brilliant – I can’t thank them enough for their guidance and their support.
“You’ve got Gary Caldwell and Emmerson Boyce who are great captains and great around the rest of the players, then there’s Shaun Maloney who has a big interest in the club.
“Before we finished last season, we sat down and Shaun sent me an email suggesting things that he thought we could improve on from the players’ perspective, every aspect, which was great for me to hear.”
It’s the first pre-season for Latics under the watchful eye of Rosler and Haslam, who came in halfway through last term following the departure of Owen Coyle.
And having been thrown in at the deep end in the midst of an unprecedented fixture schedule, Haslam acknowledges it’s been far easier to get their message across during a full pre-season.
“It was tricky when we came in because it was a different style of football from the previous regime, with different physical demands,” Haslam (below) added.
“We knew there was work to be done this summer, but we were also desperate to get back in to the Premier League as quickly as possible. That was a difficult balancing act last season, especially with us playing Saturday-Tuesday for virtually the whole of the second half of the season.
“Where we would ordinarily have been looking at getting a lot of the physical work in on Monday and Tuesday, and using the rest of the week to recover, it became pretty nigh impossible.
“I truly believe that we got every last ounce out of the players last season, and I think the players were ready for a break when it finished.”