Promotion remains the target this year, insists previous Wigan Athletic title winner

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Ben Amos says Wigan Athletic still have aspirations of winning promotion this term - despite giving the rest of the division an eight-point start.

Despite winning at promotion favourites Derby on the opening weekend of the campaign, Latics are still five points off zero points, ahead of Saturday's visit of Northampton.

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However, Amos - who won League One with Latics two seasons ago, before suffering relegation last term - says belief is high after the recent takeover.

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An eight-point deduction is not putting Ben Amos off the promotion scentAn eight-point deduction is not putting Ben Amos off the promotion scent
An eight-point deduction is not putting Ben Amos off the promotion scent

"This season, the fundamental goal is to stabilise things after what’s gone on," acknowledged Amos.

"But quietly, behind the scenes, I think there’s aspirations for a top-six finish, even after starting the season on minus eight points.

"That’s now down to minus five and if we’re in any sort of touching distance with eight games to go then we’ll have a chance."

A key reason for that optimism is boss Shaun Maloney, of whom Amos already has a high opinion.

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"You can see that Shaun has a connection with Wigan and what it means to him," recognised the ex-Manchester United stopper.

"He’s a very modern coach, he has lots of new ideas, and I think people can see from the way we play he wants exciting football.

"He’s been great with us, he’s looking at the long-term, and he’s got a plan to get the club right back to where they should be."

It hasn't been an ideal start to the season for Amos, who has been benched in favour of Academy product Sam Tickle.

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However, it's in keeping with the rest of the 33-year-old's stay at Wigan, which has been eventful to say the least.

"I just want to be playing football at the highest level I possibly can," he told "I think it’s very easy to forget that us footballers are very lucky to be doing what we’re doing.

"My time at Wigan has been a bit of a rollercoaster so far.

"In the first year, all the right signs were there, the backing from the owners was great, and it was unusual for a new group to kick on and get promoted straight away.

"Having gone up to the Championship, cracks started to show with the ownership.

"It was a shame really because I think we had a really good chance of staying up."