Creative midfielder Mike Jones believes this squad of players is a lot stronger than last season and is excited by the club’s prospects this season.
Lee Croft, Jake Cassidy, George Green, David Cornell, David Dunn, Jonathan Burn and Gavin Gunning have all been added to the squad by manager Darren Kelly and the midfielder was full of praise for the squad the manager has assembled.
He said: “Sometimes fans look at how many players you bring in over the summer but we have kept the majority of our squad and nobody has left. George and Locky went but we haven’t lost the core of our team and that is a big plus in itself.
“Jake [Cassidy] is a big player for us in what he brings to the table. He is better than I even thought and not many defenders will want to play against him this season. He puts himself about so much but he has so much more than that to his game.
“He holds it up, he gets in behind you and if you look at Saturday, the ball looked dead but somehow he made it to the ball and the cross was different class for Forte’s goal. When you have someone like that who will hold the ball up, flick it on and keep the ball up there, it is a big plus. If we keep him right, he will be a big player for us.
"David Dunn brings a lot more quality so I think we have improved the squad and I’m hopeful for what we have done this season.
“It’s a really competitive midfield and that is what you want. We will all be fighting for our places but you can see Dunn’s quality. He is a brilliant addition to the squad. You can see when he came on how good he is and he has got that little bit of class which will be great for us this season.”
Jones missed the midweek Capital One Cup clash with Middlesbrough but he has assured supporters that it was as a precaution.
“The injury was alright but the gaffer didn’t want to blast it too much too early,” he admitted. “I only played one full game in pre-season and I played the 90 on Saturday so I was just a case of doing too much too early.
"I’ll be available for selection on Saturday. We have got to stamp our marker down at home this season. We probably gave away too many points at home last season and we slipped up a few times.
“If we want to do anything, it is here where we have to win the majority of our games and we will be going all out for three points on Saturday.”
Watch the full interview on Latics PlayerHD.