CONOR Sammon admits summer has been one long drag as he prepares for his first full Premier League season.
The Dubliner joined Latics from Kilmarnock on the last day of the January transfer window, and took time to settle in to life at the DW.
However, he made his mark in the relegation run-in, firing a vital goal against West Ham that helped Latics take their survival fight into the last day.
In many ways, summer came at the wrong time for Sammon – who can’t wait to show what he can do over a full season.
“I’m feeling very sharp at the minute, I’m up to speed now and I’m itching to get the real action underway,” he told the Evening Post.
“It’s a long time to wait from coming back for pre-season training to the matches coming round.
“Friendlies are good but they’re not the same as a proper league match – so roll on tomorrow.
“Norwich will come here flying and full of confidence having just won promotion to the Premier League.
“They’ll be looking to get off to a flyer, but so will we and we’ll be fully prepared for the game – and we’ve got to be looking at getting the three points.
“We’ll be looking to play good football, but it’s so important to get off to a good start and a win.”
Latics’ preparations for the new season have been hampered by the midweek international break, while Hugo Rodallega and Antolin Alcaraz have barely had time to draw breath over the summer in between completing their Copa America duties and reporting back for pre-season training.
“It’s not ideal to have the international break now, and it’s not ideal for the boys who have flown off around the world playing games on the eve of the new season,” Sammon admitted.
“But it’s the same for everyone, all you can do is your best and the manager will have us fully prepared for tomorrow.
“Antolin and Hugo did so well it’s meant that they’ve not had much of a break, but they’ll fit right back in and come game day we’ll be fine.”
And Sammon reckons last weekend’s victory over Villarreal showed the kind of quality Latics now have in the squad.
“We knew it would be tough, because they’ve got some very good players – you must have to finish fourth in La Liga,” he added.
Wigan Athletic will face either Crystal Palace or Crawley Town in the second round of the Carling Cup.