After a season of mixed-fortune for Wigan Athletic, we look at how they will cope in the Championship in 2013/14.
Despite beating Manchester City in the FA Cup final on May 11 - an awe of disappoint was apparent in the faces of the Wigan fans as relegation shortly followed, ending their eight year run in England’s top flight.
On paper, it’s hard to look past Wigan for 2013/14 promotion, however with a huge summer ahead of them, new manager Owen Coyle will have his work cut-out achieving promotion at the first-time of asking.
It's likely that Coyle will see many of his top players leave the club in hope of Premier League football next season. The likes of James McCarthy, Shaun Maloney and Callum McManaman could all exit the DW stadium.
Their 29-year-old top goalscorer, Arouna Kone, who managed 11 goals for his side last season could also depart and their big Spanish centre-back Ivan Ramis may follow out the door.
As much as the new manager will be doing all he can to keep his star names, he will understand it will be impossible to keep them all.
Their involvement in the Europa League next year is also another factor that must be looked at. As exciting as it is for everyone associated with the Latics, the extra fixtures and the potential long trips to countries, such as Ukraine and Russia, will inevitably increase fatigue which will in-turn have an adverse effect on their domestic performances.
There is very little, if any, cause for concern about their new boss. Owen Coyle is an experienced manager who will have no problem being accepted by the fans.
He not long ago guided his Burnley team to promotion to the Premier League, showing that he knows exactly what is needed to succeed in the second-tier of English football.
All-in-all it looks as though Wigan Athletic are in for a long and difficult term under their new manager. They have made a good start with choosing Coyle to take over as boss, but still have a great deal of work to do.
Their fans will be disappointed if they are to fail to achieve promotion to the top flight for the 2014/15 season, but a top-half finish may be a more realistic target as they look to regroup.
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