Paul Cook admits he has a squad with ‘a great deal more depth than last season’ – and has challenged his players to improve on their 18th-placed finish in the league.
Latics have had a mixed start to the new campaign, with victory over Cardiff followed by defeat at Preston and elimination from the Carabao Cup in midweek against Stoke.
It’s back to the bread and butter this weekend with the visit of Leeds, against whom Latics secured their place in this year’s Championship after a 2-1 win on Good Friday.
A similar result would get Latics back on track – and cement their reputation as one of the best home sides in the division.
And Cook feels the squad is in good shape to compete with the best, after bolstering the ranks before last week’s transfer deadline.
“We’re very pleased with what we did in the window,” the Latics boss said.
“If you look at where we were with the Burnley pre-season game a fortnight ago, to where we are now, it’s night and day.
“We’re delighted and grateful to the owners and everybody involved for putting together a squad with a great deal more depth than last year.
“There were so many times last winter when we were picking the same team again after losing – because the numbers just weren’t there.
“This league is so tough...and if you want success, you have to find your own formula to do that.
“Certainly for us, having a stronger squad depth was massively important.”