Wigan show their intentions

Grant Holt at Barnsley
Grant Holt at Barnsley

GRANT Holt believes Wigan Athletic sent out a clear message to the rest of the Championship after opening their campaign with a crushing victory at Barnsley.

Holt marked his debut with Wigan’s second goal as the visitors thoroughly dominated at Oakwell, with Ben Watson, Leon Barnett and Shaun Maloney also scoring.

And the former Norwich striker admits things are looking good for the future.

“We’re still learning what each other does in different situations,” Holt acknowledged.

“But we’ve got lads who can finish and we were fantastic at the back, and that’s a good combination.

“We’ve just got good players throughout the team. A few times little things just didn’t go our way, but there was some good play throughout.

“We can keep the ball and move it in good areas. If you look at the last goal, the number of passes involved in the build-up was incredible.”

With a bench containing the likes of Callum McManaman, Jordi Gomez and Roger Espinoza, first-teamers Gary Caldwell, Ali Al Habsi and Ivan Ramis still to return after injury and a minimum of two more players due in before the transfer window, things are certainly looking good.

“We know we’ve got a very good squad,” Holt added.

“We’ve certainly got the depth and the quality, we can keep the ball and the consistency will come.

“You can see a few times people are making certain runs and it wasn’t coming off – but it’ll come.”

Holt accepts there will be tougher tests ahead, but reckons Wigan have what it takes to repeat the success of his Norwich side who won promotion three seasons ago.

“There are good teams in this division, I’ve been in it before and it’s not easy,” Holt recognised.

“When we went up with Norwich I don’t think anyone gave us a chance - we were 33/1 or something.

“It’s a tough division and every game’s a challenge, and these are the ones where you’re rewarded.

“It’s hard when you’ve got a reputation and they want to beat you and ram it down your throat.

“But we weathered it, we kicked on and our quality showed.”