Latics ready for Championship visitors
Lee Johnson will be looking to claim a Championship scalp in tomorrow's Capital One Cup, first-round tie against Derby County at Boundary Park.
Latics' manager believes his players will rise to the challenge as they did when they beat Huddersfield Town, a Championship club, in their last pre-season friendly.
Johnson, whose side won 4-3 at Stevenage on Saturday in their opening Sky Bet League 1 fixture, said: "We believe in ourselves and have a lot of players who are hungry to the next level and show what they can do against Championship players.
"A lot of the Derby players come from similar backgrounds to ours and they know exactly what it is like to have the boot on the other foot and to try and slay a giant."
Johnson says it will be a big test for his team having watched Derby’s opening Sky Bet Championship fixture yesterday, a 1-1 draw against Blackburn Rovers at Pride Park.
He said: "Derby has a solid side, their players have good energy, are good on the ball and they also have some good attacking threats.
"They have a good side and I am sure they will do very well in their division. I would describe them as one of the top eight clubs in the country then you look at their fan base and stadium. I don’t think we could have had a better draw."
And as for Latics' prospects, Johnson believes his side can cause an upset, though he admits it will be difficult.
He explained: "Of course I believe we can win the game. I am not complacent in thinking we can turn up and stroll to victory against a Championship side.
"We will have to play to our maximum with everything going for us and then maybe we will have a chance."
It will be a special night for Johnson who had a loan spell with Derby in 2010.
Nigel Clough is still manager while most of the backroom staff have remained and Johnson has fond memories of the two months spent at Pride Park in which he made seven appearances.
Those friendships will be put to one side, though, as Johnson and Clough battle for a second-round place.
October 2nd, 2002
Derby County 1, Latics 2
Jose Baxter, Cristian Montano and James Dayton all picked up knocks in Saturday's 4-3 win at Stevenage in their opening match of the season in Sky Bet League 1, but manager Lee Johnson hopes all three will have recovered.
August 3rd: Sky Bet League 1, Stevenage 3, Latics 4.
August 4th: Sky Bet Championship, Derby 1, Blackburn 1.
Striker Johnny Russell, a £750,000 summer signing from Scottish club Raith Rovers, who made a scoring debut against Blackburn with a penalty.
Latics' manager Lee Johnson had a seven-match loan spell at Derby in 2010. Derby keepers Lee Grant and Adam Ledzdins both had loan spells with Latics.
Latics have reduced admission prices to £10 for adults and £5 concessions and home fans can sit in the George Hill Main Stand and Chaddy End. It is pay on the turnstiles with no tickets available in advance other than those snapped up in the Capital One 2 for 1 promotion.