Full back Joseph Mills is expecting a closer tie this season as Middlesbrough travel to SportsDirect.com Park for the second season in succession.
Last season, Boro comfortably dispatched Latics 3-0 in the same competition with goals from Luke Williams, Grant Leadbitter and Kike but the full back believes the squad is stronger this year and expects to run the Championship side close.
He said: "We will go into it and whatever team is picked will give their all on the night. Hopefully we can pick up a better result from last season.
"The manager has got across what he expects and what he wants from the squad so everyone is looking forward to it. It was nice to get the first game out of the way and we look forward to tonight.
"If you look through the spine of the squad it is similar to last year. We have added some good additions and I’m looking forward to them coming into the fold more and more as the season goes on.
“We have the base of a very good squad and if everyone can stay injury free we can look forward to a long successful season."
The manager has stressed the importance of togetherness within the club and that is something the full back echoed, pointing out the influence of the supporters.
“I thought they drove us on, especially in the second half, on Saturday. When we went one-nil down, we could have rolled over and taken a defeat but they spurred us on. They were brilliant.
“When they get behind us it really gets onto the lads and changes our performance and hopefully we can take it up a level.”
Watch the full interview on Latics PlayerHD.