Latics skipper Sam Morsy has backed his team-mates to make the most of the international break.
With just five first-teamers (Kieffer Moore, David Marshall, Charlie Mulgrew, Joe Gelhardt and Jensen Weir) away over the next fortnight, the midfielder wants the rest of the squad to knuckle down before returning to action against Hull on September 14.
Latics go into the break with just four points on the board and without a win since the opening day, with Saturday’s goalless draw against Barnsley ending a five game losing streak – including the EFL Cup defeat to Stoke City.
Morsy pointed at the large number of new faces not having the time to integrate as a factor to the dismal form and believes the break will provide time for that to happen.
“We’ve got a lot of new players and they’ve all come quite late,” he said.
“It’ll be great to integrate them within the squad and work on things and just get ourselves right really. Everyone is working really hard for that to happen.
“It’s a long, long season but we are confident we can have a good one.”
Reflecting on Saturday’s draw, Morsy focused on the positive aspect of the clean sheet.
Morsy reserved particular praise for defender Mulgrew, who made his league debut, and goal peer David Marshall who was man-of-the-match.
But like manager Paul Cook, he knows that there’s work to do to make sure that things pick up at the other end, where Latics haven’t scored a goal from open play since the opening day.
“It was a tough game but it was great to get a clean sheet,” said Morsy.
“I thought Charlie Mulgrew came in and did brilliant. We had some decent chances, especially the one at the end with the header.
“We just need to be that little bit quicker but when you’ve been conceding goals, it’s just great to get a clean sheet.
“It was get for Marshy to get that too, he’s a top goalkeeper on and off the pitch and I’m really enjoying working with him.”