Jonathan Jackson has highlighted astute player recruitment as ‘the key’ to Wigan Athletic bouncing back to the Championship at the first attempt.
This time last year Latics were in the middle of a complete overhaul of playing personnel, with virtually the entire first-team squad being shipped out to be replaced by a new breed of young, hungry players.
And chief executive Jackson says the way the club embraced the huge changes – both on and off the field – to pick up the League One title is something to be proud of.
“When we dropped into League One, we knew it wasn’t going to be easy and we’d have to have a large turnover of players – both from a financial point of view, and also to refresh the club,” he said.
“I think the player recruitment was key to producing the success we’ve had this year, and bringing in players who wanted success and wanted to play at a higher level.
“Players like Max Power who’d just dropped into the Conference, David Perkins who’d just been relegated with Blackpool, Will Grigg who’d proved he could score goals in League One.
“It was important to get the right quality of player, but also the right chemistry – and that’s not always easy.
“You can bring in good players but if they don’t gel as a team you don’t get the sum that the parts deserve.
“That was evident in the first half of the season, when we didn’t always get the results we expected – like at Coventry and Gillingham.
“But gradually as the season unfolded we got stronger and stronger, and I think key to that was improving the team at the right in January.
“Bringing in players like Sam Morsy, Ryan Colclough and of course Yanic Wildschut...when you’ve got players like that, added to the players who were already developing here, it combined to give us the success we managed to get.”