Former Portsmouth captain Tom Naylor's take on Wigan season expectations after host of high-profile summer arrivals and ahead of Blues reunion
Former Pompey captain Tom Naylor insists there is no internal pressure on Wigan to deliver League One promotion this season.
And the ex-Blues midfielder says the much-changed Latics squad must be given time to gel as a collective.
Naylor, who made 149 Pompey appearances before moving to Wigan this summer, is preparing for a reunion with his former club at the DW Stadium today.
The experienced midfielder, 30, is one 12 summer signings to arrive at the Latics, with the transfer window not slamming shut until Tuesday.
Wigan have been flexing their new-found financial muscle following the Phoenix 2021 Limited group takeover.
Boss Leam Richardson prized both Naylor and Jack Whatmough to the club after the expiration of their Pompey contracts, while Charlie Wyke, James McClean, Max Power and midfielder Tom Bayliss are just some of the other names who have moved to the DW Stadium this summer.
But with statement signings and an impressive squad assembled, there is sure to be increased pressure on Wigan to get out of the third tier this season.
Yet, that is not a view shared by Naylor, who is adamant it's not a case of promotion or bust for him and his team-mates this term.
Naylor told The News: ‘Obviously, people outside of Wigan will probably say we’ve got a massive chance of going up.
‘But if we don’t do it straight away then we don’t do it straightaway. It’s one of them ones where we need to gel, we need to have time, it’s not just an overnight plan.
‘This plan is for one, two or three years and we’ll hope to achieve something with the new owners.
‘It would be nice to get promoted straightaway but if it’s not this season then I’m sure it’ll be next season.’
Naylor ended his three-year south coast stay in the summer at the completion of his Pompey contract.
The Blues did offer him a new deal, although it was on reduced terms.
Naylor turned down the deal and opted to make the move back up north and join Wigan.
And he has been delighted with how things have gone for him personally since his summer switch.
Naylor added: ‘It’s closer to home (Wigan), which is what I wanted, while I couldn’t turn them away because of the way they’re going forward and the players they were bringing in.
‘Pre-season went really well, it was really tough, a bit different to what I’m used to, but I feel really fit.
‘This coming season I feel like we’ll be right up there challenging for an automatic spot or maybe challenging for the league.’