Last Updated: Wed, 18 Jun 2014 11:44
The release of the football fixtures has proven one thing to Wigan manager Uwe Rosler - next season's Sky Bet Championship will be even harder.
Latics will aim to return to the Barclays Premier League at the second time of asking after last season's mammoth campaign, a 60-game slog which included trips to Russia, Slovenia and Belgium in the Europa League, ended in the play-off semi-finals.
Rosler's team will meet 2013 Championship winners Cardiff in the first half-a-dozen games while the German believes the relegations of Fulham and Norwich have strengthened the second tier.
"This season will not be won in the first 10 games; it's a marathon and we have to make sure we are there at the end," he told the club's official website.
"This year will be even harder than last year, you look at Fulham and Cardiff and financially they have a very big budget whilst Norwich will be very, very competitive, keeping the nucleus of their team and they know what it takes to get promotion.
"There will be teams from last year as well who will get better too so it's only going to get tougher but we knew that and we have to do everything we can do to get out of that league as soon as possible.
"The longer you stay in the Championship the more difficult it is to get out because the financial rewards get less and less from the parachute payments and that means you have to play catch up more and more.
"I think for us next year it's vital for us to have a real go in terms of going to the Premier League."
Rosler will, therefore, hope that his team will be in celebratory mood by the time they close out the season at his former club Brentford in their final contest.
"If I had the choice, I would have avoided playing them this season," he joked.
"Obviously you have to deal with what is put in front of you and that will be Brentford at some point or another."
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