Manchester – Zimbabwe international and Wigan Athletic skipper Tendayi Darikwa says the Latics’ League One title success has already been fully processed and consigned to the memory bank and his sights are now firmly set on leading the club into the Championship.
And the full focus is already on the new campaign, which gets underway four weeks this weekend with the visit of Preston to the DW Stadium.
“Probably the first few weeks of pre-season, you try and take time to reflect on the year you’ve just had – especially with it going so well,” Darikwa said.
“But very quickly it soon becomes about next season and looking at how we can make that as successful as we can.
“Last season has gone now. Of course, we will reflect on it and have a look at what made us so good as a team last season.
“But now we want to continue moving forward and impact the Championship in the same way that we did in League One.”
Darikwa and his teammates are coming to the end of a week-long training camp in Spain which will form the platform for their fitness levels for the campaign ahead.
“Being able to get away to a different training environment in the heat, and focus solely on football is great.
“We’re working hard, and the sessions are tough. It’s important we keep demanding each other to be the best we can be.
“The lads have been class. Everyone is working to the maximum and pre-season is a tough time for any footballer.
“As a group, we need to keep demanding from each other and keep encouraging each other.
“And it’s always important to get some time away with the group.
“You usually sit down as a group and discuss what the goals are for next year, and the bond and the belief in the group starts from there.”
On a personal level, the 30-year-old is looking forward to returning to the Championship, having left Nottingham Forest for Wigan in January 2021.
“I’m hungrier than ever,” he added. “The Championship is a step up for us, and a lot of lads have been there before.
“There are some really good teams and players we will be facing, so we need to make sure we are as fit and strong as we can be
“We want to keep growing as a group and keep improving, and hopefully we can do that.”
🗣 "We want to continue moving forward & growing as a group…"
— Wigan Athletic (@LaticsOfficial) June 30, 2022