Skipper Liam Kelly believes if the squad stays injury free, Latics could be a force to be reckoned with in Sky Bet League One this season.
Speaking ahead of the opening day clash with Walsall, the 25-year-old, who will continue to captain the side this season, believes Darren Kelly has recruited well over the summer and anticipates a strong start to the league campaign.
He said: "If we make sure we keep our squad injury free that will be a big help to us. There is no reason why we can’t aim for the top six.
"We want to start well. We didn’t start well last season but we went on a run after that. We don’t want to start slowly and build our way into it, we want to start fast and hit the ground running with a result against Walsall on Saturday.
“Coming up to the opening game of the season, if we perform like we know we can perform, we have got every chance of getting a result but they are a good team and they did finish strongly last year so it’s a game we are looking forward to.”
With 500 tickets sold and over 1,000 expected at the Banks’s Stadium on Saturday, Kelly praised the away support and is calling on them to become the 12th man this weekend.
“There were some games last season where we had an amazing away following and when there was good away support we usually picked up a result so if they turn out in numbers hopefully we can give something back to them,” he admitted.
Summing up Latics’ chances ahead of the season, Kelly said: “I don’t think there is going to be a runaway leader like there was with Bristol City last season.
“I think it will be a tight league so it is up to us to stake a claim for a place in the top six. We are all confident inside the dressing room that we can achieve something this season.”
Watch the full interview on Latics PlayerHD.