Shaun Maloney is hopeful Saturday’s visit of Cambridge United will showcase two weeks of hard graft on the Wigan Athletic training ground.
The Latics boss has had a fortnight to stew on back-to-back defeats against Barnsley and Blackpool, which tempered a stunning start to the campaign which saw a return of 10 points from the opening four matches.
Maloney wanted to work on how better Latics could break down opponents who were content to ‘sit in’, rather than look to attack.
And he believes the time at Christopher Park will see an improvement on that score.
“It’s given us more time on the training pitch, and it’s really good that some of our players have been with their national teams,” said Maloney.
“Everyone was back on Thursday, and the break gave us the time we needed to improve on areas and hopefully that will be apparent on Saturday.
“It’s great to be competing again – the games are the best part of football.
“I want our home form to be as strong as last year – it was strong last season even in a difficult time.
“There is no better time to bounce back from our last home defeats than Saturday.”
Cambridge lie sixth in the fledgling League One table, with 12 points on the board from their six matches played.
And Maloney is expecting Mark Bonner’s side to test his side whenever the opportunity arises.
“They’ve got different ways to attack us,” he said. “I am learning that, when we analyse teams…I expected the big clubs to be really aggressive and press us high, and then they did the opposite for a large part of the game.
“We have to be aware of what the team can do in terms of both styles, and do what we can do to combat that.
“When we have the ball that much, we still have to be more aggressive.
“We’ve got a proper squad, and the level of training has changed in the last few days.
“Sometimes we’ve had to use a lot of Academy players in training, and it’s helped them a lot.
“But now we have players who are fighting for a position.
“Everything we do in training is competitive, and it has to be if you want to get a place in the team.”