Latics make the long trip to The New Lawn tomorrow for the first game of the Sky Bet League Two 2019/20 season against Forest Green Rovers and Mohammed Maouche gave his thoughts ahead of the clash.
The midfielder signed a new contract with the club this summer and can’t wait to get back on the pitch tomorrow.
“We’re all very excited. I’ve signed a new contract with the club and I could have moved to other clubs’ but I made the promise to stay here and I’m really pleased to be back.
“We’ve been working hard and we need to show that we’ve worked hard throughout pre-season to all the fans.”
Maouche believes the pre-season tour of Morocco was beneficial for the squad to get to know each other ahead of the 2019/20 campaign.
“It was really good, it was an important trip to get to know each other. A lot of new players have arrived and maybe some more new players will arrive soon so it is good to be able to get close to each other.”
He was also disappointed with the results in pre-season but wants to put things right against Forest Green Rovers.
“I’m going to be honest, the results have not been good especially the last two games, we have a lot of things to work on, but I can promise you that we will give everything at Forest Green.”
Up next is Forest Green Rovers, a side last season that performed well and the midfielder believes they will be a tough test again this campaign.
“Last year, we played Forest Green and I was impressed with the way they play and we know they’re one of the best teams’ in the league.
“They will be definitely in the top half of the table this season. But we are ready to fight and it’s going to be hard.”
The 26-year-old has been impressed by new Head Coach Laurent Banide and he claims that he has adapted well to the club in pre-season.
“He’s brought new ideas to the club, we set the basics last year and we had to improve and he’s working on all the things.
“But it’s tough because a lot of players have arrived late and I think for a manager it’s hard to deal with it. We are working and we will keep working hard but we’re ready to fight.”
The Frenchman has been wearing the captain's armband throughout pre-season and he aims to set high standards for the team.
“It’s a big responsibility and I’ve learnt the history of this club. Last year, we had a special skipper and I’ve learnt from him a lot. On the pitch, I just try and get prepared like I always do and try to help players coming into the club.
“We all know that there’s a lot of foreign players’ in our team and I’m going to make sure that we’re all together and I’m telling them what I expect.”
He added; “Of course my English isn’t so good but I think my English is better than most of the French lads in the dressing room.”
“I just try and help, I will always be the same person playing well or not playing at all. I want to be an example for the young lads.”
The fans support is valued very highly at the club and Maouche urges the supporters to be the 12th man once more.
“That’s what I expect from them I want them to be the 12th man on the pitch. Teams coming here need to know that it’ll be hard for them to beat us.
“We need that support, it’s a club and we’re all working for this club, we all need to bring something players on the pitch and fans and if we don’t do it no one will.”