Darron Gibson is confident Wigan Athletic have ‘taken the first stepping stone in the Championship’ – as he waits to learn if he’ll be around to help with the next few.
The 31-year-old has completed his 12-month deal with Latics and, along with several other out-of-contract stars, is waiting for the club to release its retained list.
While Shaun MacDonald is expected to move on, having not featured in the league for two years after breaking his leg, the futures of Gibson and Callum McManaman are unclear.
Gibson’s already admitted he’d be keen to stay having, by his own admission, rediscovered his love for the game after a tough time at Sunderland.
But whatever happens, he’s immensely proud of the role he played in Latics consolidating their second-tier status.
“The Championship is a tough, tough league,” he said.
“Even teams coming down from the Premier League have really struggled to cope with the pace and the physicality.
“Possibly because this squad had come up from League One, we were slightly more prepared.
“We’ve taken the first stepping stone in the Championship, and now we need to build on this.
“We’re going to lose a lot of loan players, there’s a few players – including myself – who are out of contract.
“We’ll wait to see what happens and take it from there.”
Latics are still hopeful of holding on to Nick Powell, although the out-of-contract forward is expected to join Stoke, just up the road from his Crewe base.