Christian Walton is adamant Wigan Athletic are a top 10 Championship team – who never lost faith in themselves despite a recent wobble.
Four damaging defeats in a row saw Latics slip from the top half of the standings to within four points of the relegation zone prior to the recent international break.
But a return of four points from two games this week, against Reading and Blackburn, means they could return to the top 10 with a win at struggling Bolton tomorrow.
And Walton says the players have only ever been looking up the league table, rather than over their shoulders.
“It’s mad how things can change so quickly in this league,” Walton told the Wigan Post.
“Coming off the back of four defeats in a row, it’s been a good response from the guys.
“And if we can replicate the performance levels from Wednesday night, there’s no reason why we can’t win again this weekend at Bolton.
“Maybe the international break came at the right time for us to regroup and get a few things right in training.
“We’ve shown in the two games since a far more accurate reflection of what we are as a team, and fingers crossed we can keep that going.
“I genuinely feel we are a top 10 team, when you look at the quality we have in the camp.
“We’ve played against most of the big teams in this league and there’s not been much in most of the games.
“It’s a long old season, there’s going to be ups and downs, and hopefully we’re off on another up.”
Walton says boss Paul Cook played a key role in ensuring confidence levels didn’t dip during the losing sequence.
“It’s been a while since we got the three points, but we know how tough the division is so we weren’t getting too down,” the on-loan Brighton custodian revealed.
“It’s important to keep a level head at all times, and that’s allowed us to get back to winning ways.”
After shipping 10 goals during the four-game losing streak, Walton would have been celebrating back-to-back clean sheets this week had Dan Burn not unfortunately put through his own goal in the closing stages against Blackburn.
Remarkably, it would have been the 21-year-old’s 22nd clean sheet in his last 31 games at the DW Stadium.
“It would have been nice to keep another clean sheet, but it’s just one of those things,” grimaced Walton.
“There’s nothing you can do about a goal like that but we’ll take 3-1 any day of the week. The three points are the most important thing.”