Kyle Dempsey is raring to go as he looks forward to his first taste of a Wanderers-Wigan derby.
Dempsey was one of seven January signings not with Wanderers for last October’s 4-0 home loss to the Latics.
But the former Gillingham skipper knows what’s at stake in the return at the DW Stadium as he challenges for a starting spot.
“I‘m ready to go on now. I‘ve come back from injury, feel sharp, feel ready and it will be a great game on Saturday as well,” said Dempsey, who returned via the bench from a three-week lay-off to help the Whites to a 1-0 win at Crewe a fortnight ago.
“I know what the rivalry is like and it’ll be a great game to be involved in.
“It’s a massive game for the club and the fans.
“I know how much it means to them, so we will prepare well, give it 110 per cent and then try to take care of the three games.”
Wanderers kick off a big eight-day spell with the trip to second-placed Wigan before play-off hopefuls Portsmouth and Sheffield Wednesday come to the University of Bolton Stadium.
And Dempsey hopes a winning start – and third successive away victory – at Wigan could be the catalyst for a late push to keep Wanderers’ outside hopes of a top-six finish alive.
“The main focus is Saturday,” added Dempsey, whose return to fitness strengthens manager Ian Evatt's midfield options.
“I think it‘s going to be three games that define the season.
“It’s going to be whether we’ve get a chance of sneaking in there, or whether the season’s going to be done.
“We want to come out of it with nine points. We know we need to win every single game until the end of the year, so we will be focusing on that and hopefully we can sneak in there.”