Wigan boss Roberto Martinez is confident that losing key forward Victor Moses will not lead to a season of struggle in the top flight.
With his second-string side winning comfortably against Nottingham Forest on Tuesday night in the Capital One Cup, the Spaniard thinks this could be the season where the Latics kick on.
"For many seasons now we tried to be able to cope with two or three different competitions," Martinez said.
"I think the demands are huge if you want to go out and win every single game, it is impossible to do it with 13 or 14 players. You really need to do it with 19, 20 or 21 players.
"In the past we couldn't make six, seven or eight changes and carry on being competitive and playing the way we wanted to play. It's taken us this long to be a very competitive side and whoever is going to be on the pitch, we are clearly very strong in the way we want to play.
"The game on Tuesday was a really good game of football because of a good result from our point of view.
"It's a credit to the players' work in pre-season and the amount they've been working and coping with disappointment when they haven't been involved and just taking the opportunity.
"That's what allows you to work as a football club and get into a level that in the past we probably haven't been able to reach. That's pleasing and it shows good progress."
Martinez admitted he will struggle to find a like-for-like replacement for Moses this late in the transfer window.
He said: "It's a case of finding the players we want to try to improve the squad.
"That's been the case whether we're going to lose any players or not. We have to cope with moving players on.
"I think Victor Moses was such an influential player and such a special player for us I don't think you can replace him with another individual.
"You probably have to replace him with another way of playing in that attacking third or find another way to get the players to fulfil his responsibilities.
"As a whole I'm really pleased with the players we've got but I wouldn't be doing my job properly if I didn't keep my eyes open because sometimes in the last 48 hours you get opportunities you can't turn down."