'Time to test ourselves in the Championship' - Wigan Athletic CEO

Mal Brannigan admits there's a 'buzz about the place' after Wigan Athletic received their schedule for the new Championship campaign.

The League One champions regained their place in the second tier two years after being relegated due to administration.

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Wigan Athletic boss reacts to Championship fixtures release
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And the Latics CEO could not hide his delight and excitement after the fixtures were released - with Latics back where we 'deserve to be'.

Mal BranniganMal Brannigan
Mal Brannigan

"Whenever you see the fixture list on a day like this, your first thought is: 'Okay!'" he said.

"That's who you're playing, that's when you're playing, and it's lovely to be back.

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"We deserve to be where we are, and it shouldn't come as an enormous surprise because of all the hard work that was done last summer.

"Now it's time to test ourselves - as we did last year- against every other team at our level, and see where we are.

"But even the opening game of the season, a big local derby, brings a buzz about the place, and that renewal of hope about what might be ahead."

It's been a frustratingly quiet couple of months since Latics clinched promotion at Shrewsbury, with the club yet to make a new signing.

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Indeed, most of the work being done behind the scenes - including the revamp of the boardroom on the third floor, and the Rigaletto's restaurant next to reception.

"I think it's a little bit like the education situation, where people think the minute schools break up for summer, teachers are on holiday until the day before they get back," Brannigan explained.

"It's exactly the same here because - although the players have to have time off - the staff and the management team work tirelessly year-round on keeping things going.

"Probably if you're not on the football staff, this (summer) could actually be your busiest period in making sure everything is up and running ready for the players coming back.

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"The amount of work that's been done behind the scenes, with our partners, has been fantastic, and it matches the investment we've already made on the pitch.

"It's all geared towards the continued development of the club - on and off the field.

"What does maybe start now is the public work, the players coming back to training and focusing their attention on that first game."

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