Wigan boss Owen Coyle ready to spring
Wigan manager Owen Coyle is convinced his team can make their hectic season a successful one.
Thursday's 0-0 away draw with Zulte Waregem in Europa League Group D marked the start of the first continental campaign in the Latics' history, which is adding a minimum of six games to their schedule this term and more if they qualify for the knock-out rounds.
That schedule features 46 Sky Bet Championship matches, and if Wigan's bid for promotion takes them to the play-off final, three more.
They also lost to Manchester United in the Community Shield at Wembley this season, and have other domestic commitments to come with the Capital One Cup and their defence of the FA Cup.
Coyle emphasised before the Zulte match that his team are ready to embrace the challenge of what 2013-14 brings and after the contest in Bruges spoke about how he has discussed the topic of contending with demanding fixture lists with Norwich manager Chris Hughton.
In 2011-12 Hughton's Birmingham achieved 10 points in their Europa League group, narrowly missing out on qualification for the next round, and made it to the Championship play-off semi-finals as well.
Coyle has also pointed to the 2008-09 season, in which he got Burnley to the last four of the League Cup and promoted to the Premier League via the play-offs, as reason for encouragement about how well Wigan can do this term.
He said: "I have spoken to Chris - he and I get on famously, he is a good pal of mine. Birmingham, as he will tell you, had a relatively slow start and then it picked up.
"We are looking to get right in amongst it as early as we can.
"But it is achievable. We played 61 games the season I got Burnley promoted, so we certainly know about managing players over a number of games and still achieving success. That will stand us in good stead as we go forward."
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