CRAIG Davies has had this weekend’s trip to Chesterfield highlighted on the fixture list since June.
Not only is it a big game for Wigan Athletic against a club that will also expect to be in or around the promotion shake-up come the end of the season.
It’s also an opportunity for Davies to revisit a former stomping ground where he enjoyed the most prolific part of his career.
Davies spent only 12 months with the Spireites, but 25 goals from just 45 games during the 2010/11 campaign should ensure a warm reception both on and off the field.
“It’s the first time I’ve been back to Chesterfield in the four years since I left, and it’ll be nice to go back,” Davies told the Evening Post.
“I was only there for a year but it was a great time in my career.
“It’s always nice when you’re winning games, and we were winning a lot of games.
“We ended up winning the League Two championship and I finished as top scorer, and it paved the way for my move to Barnsley, and bigger and better things.
“But I’ll always be grateful to everyone at Chesterfield, the management and the club itself, and I’ve got nothing but fond memories of the place.”
Davies makes no secret of the fact he’ll be doubly determined to impress against his former employers.
“You try and treat every game the same, but obviously one or two games might mean more than the others,” he acknowledged.
“This one was one of the first fixtures I looked for when the fixtures came out, and now it’s here I can’t wait to get out there.”
Not that it will be all about Davies, with Latics desperate to build on last weekend’s narrow victory over Crewe and achieve back-to-back wins for the first time this term.
“It’s a very tough place to go, but we’re a good side ourselves and we’re trying to build on a good win against Crewe last week,” the 29-year-old recognised.
“We were all very disappointed with the Gillingham game the previous week, but we just want to get into a rhythm where we’re playing well and winning as quickly as possible.
“We played very well against Scunthorpe in our previous home game and the result followed – and we’re looking for a few more of them.
“That night the team really did click as a whole, and all we need now is to find some consistency where we can produce that more often.
“There’s still a lot of new players in the squad, and we’re still finding out about each other’s strengths and weaknesses.
“After three or four games you’re not going to know everything about your
It’s not like in the Premier League where you’ve seen everyone on the television and you know everything about them.
“You get to find it out more over a period of time, and hopefully that will come sooner rather than later.”
Davies will have extra responsibility on his shoulders this weekend with strike partner Will Grigg away on international duty with Northern Ireland.
But he doesn’t feel that will have a detrimental effect on his own game.
“I don’t feel under any added pressure because Will’s not going to be here,” he insisted.
“I’ll be doing the same I do every week, I step out there on the field the same regardless of who we’re playing.
“It doesn’t matter if I’m playing in a front two or on my own, I’ll be playing the same way.
“And I still feel the best is still to come from me.
“Even the Scunthorpe game, that was my first start and obviously I scored, but I feel there’s a lot more to come.
“I know it’s going to come, and hopefully it’ll be worth it.”
With Chesterfield also aiming for promotion, it promises to be a close game at the Proact Stadium.
But Davies is wary of placing too much emphasis on the outcome so early in the year.
“To be honest, it’s still probably too early in the season to put too much emphasis on the game,” he added.
“All we’re trying to do is go there and get a good result.
“We won’t be worrying about what may or may not happen at the end of the season.
“It’s just a matter of taking it week by week, chopping away at results, and we’ll see where we are in February, March, when we can start talking about top-of-the-table clashes.”