Wigan Athletic guest player column - Michael Jacobs
The excitement is well and truly building to this weekend's big kick-off against Sheffield Wednesday.
And all the lads can’t wait to get off to a positive start in front of our fans at the DW Stadium.
We’d have liked to have been going into the game on the back of a win to round off our pre-season, but we didn’t do ourselves justice on the whole at Rangers last weekend.
I thought in the first half we played some decent stuff, got in to some good areas, probably should have made a little bit more of them.
Pre-season is always about building up to the first game, and I thought in the first half we did well.
We came out for the start of the second half, had a bit of a mad 10 minutes, and all of a sudden you’re 3-0 down.
Once you give teams like Rangers a little bit of something they get that momentum, the fans get involved, and it’s game over.
Probably the most disappointing aspect was the way we conceded the goals.
We’re not normally a team that concedes a lot from set-pieces, or crosses coming into the box, but to concede all three goals like that was very frustrating.
This week has been all about ironing out those deficiencies, and making sure we’re ready to go against Sheffield Wednesday.
I think what we have managed to do is build those relationships and partnerships on the field, especially with the new lads who have come in.
It was the first time I’d played at Ibrox, and I was very impressed.
The pitch was lovely, the stadium, was great, the set-up fabulous, and it was a great opportunity for us to be involved.
Obviously Steven Gerrard was on the touchline, and it shows what a big club Rangers are that they’ve been able to attract him here.
I didn’t manage to speak to Steven...if I had, I might have mentioned the time Northampton won at Anfield in the League Cup.
He didn’t play on the night, but I managed to get on the scoresheet and it would have been nice to have reminded him about that!
On a serious note, it’s a great job for him to get first up, and I hope he does really well.
We’ve managed to keep the vast majority of the group from last season, which is brilliant.
There’s a few days to go until the transfer deadline, and the manager is still looking to add to the squad which you always need.
It’s a big year for us all – for the club and also the players.
We’ve spoken at length within the group about that, and we’re all ready to go and give it our best shot.
It’s important we don’t let ourselves down – which I think we did two years ago when we got relegated.
Momentum is everything in this division, and if we can get off to a good start, we can build from there.
We won’t have as much expectation on our shoulders this time, certainly not as much as we had last year in League One.
That could well work in our favour, maybe we’ll be able to fly under the radar a little bit.
All we can do is set out our stall, build on what we did last year, keep the momentum going – and who knows?
* Michael Jacobs was speaking to Paul Kendrick