Time to move on and write a 'new chapter' - Wigan Athletic star
Gary Roberts insists Wigan Athletic have to somehow leave all the disappointment of recent months aside - and concentrate on writing 'a new chapter' in the club's history.
Just over six weeks since ending their 2019-20 Championship campaign, Latics were back in action at Fleetwood in the first round of the 2020-21 Carabao Cup.
In between, of course, Latics have been in crisis off the field, with relegation to League One being confirmed - thanks to a 12-point deduction - and the desperate search for a buyer still ongoing.
But Roberts says the only thing the players can focus on at the moment is on-field matters.
"We all know what's happened off the field, but you have to roll your sleeves up and come back," he said after Saturday's 3-2 defeat on the Fylde coast.
"What happened was out of our hands. We gave everything we could last season, but it's a new chapter now.
"We have to get the club going again and give everything we can for the club. It's been tough for the players, but listen, there are a lot of people worse off than us."
It was all going swimmingly for a new-look Latics at Highbury, with a brace from Joe Garner putting the visitors 2-0 up inside half an hour.
However, Latics couldn't hold on and, after Roberts hit the bar with a brilliant left-foot strike, goals from Ched Evans (2) and Josh Morris edged a five-goal thriller.
"We knew the game was going to be tough because Fleetwood finished well last year in the play-offs," acknowledged Roberts, who signed a one-month contract on the eve of the game.
"It was our first game with young lads coming in for debuts, so it was always going to be tough, but we did enough to have been out of sight at half-time.
"We could have had four of five by half-time, but once they got their first goal it gave them momentum to take over in the second half and fair play to them.
"I don't think you could say they deserved to win the game, but we didn't really get going in the second half.
"A third goal would have been massive, especially away from home.
"We had one that we thought was over the line and we created a lot of chances in the first half.
"Joe Garner was outstanding and we looked a real threat up front."