Gavin Massey insists Wigan Athletic won’t be running scared of anything they will come up against this season in the Championship.
The League One title winners will revert to being a very small fish in a very large pond this term, in what has already been labelled the best and most competitive Championship in history.
After being the biggest spenders in the third tier last term, Latics will have one of the smallest budgets with which to compete with some of the biggest clubs in the country, in the dogfight to get back to the Premier League.
Massey, though, says it’s a challenge to be embraced, rather than be fearful of.
“We played several Premier League teams during our FA Cup run last season, and we tore some of them apart,” he told the Wigan Post.
“I know we lost to Southampton (in the quarter-final), but we tore them apart on the day and were unlucky to lose.
“The boys are certainly not fearful of anything in the Championship – not one bit.
“We know how competitive the Championship is. It’s a mini Premier League in many respects.
“We’re not stupid enough to think it’s going to be easy, but we’ll go into it with our eyes open.
“The gaffer has been bringing in some reinforcements – you have to at this level – and we’ll see how we go.”
It’s been an extraordinary 12 months for Massey, since becoming Paul Cook’s second signing last summer.
Having just been relegated into non-league with Leyton Orient, Massey was thrown a lifeline by Latics.
Now, he’s ready to locks horns with the likes of Leeds, Aston Villa, Stoke and West Brom – and he admits he’s still pinching himself.
“I’d be lying if I said I expected to play as many games as I have, and contributed as much as I have to the team,” the 25-year-old forward acknowledged.
“Obviously you always have confidence in your ability, but I was expecting to provide competition for places and wait for my chance.
“Thankfully I was able to stay in the team for most of last season, and the quality we have in the squad has pushed me on every week.”
Meanwhile, James Perch looks as though he is on his way to League One outfit Scunthorpe.
The 32-year-old free agent spent most of the summer training with Latics, and turned out for the pre-season friendlies at Tranmere and Chesterfield.
However, the utility man, who played for Latics between 2013-15, leftthe camp at the end of last week, and is believed to be joining the Iron.