Defender looks back on manic 62-game campaign and outlines aims for next season.
Latics captain Emmerson Boyce shares his thoughts in an end of season interview with Ashley Houghton.
Q: Boycey, you played 57 of the 62 games this season, you must be glad for the break?
EB: "Believe it or not, I feel alright!
"The physiotherapists have looked after me well; there are a lot of unsung heroes in the physio room.
"They’re people that probably don’t get credit behind the scenes and they deserve it.
"At this minute in time I feel good but disappointed that our season was cut short by one game, however it wasn’t to be and we’ll come back next year determined to get promotion."
Q: Everybody knew there were going to be an unusual amount of games but could you have foreseen playing 57 yourself?
EB: "Not at all; funnily enough when Roberto [Martinez] offered me my last contract, due to my age, it was going to depend on appearances.
"So, at 34, to be playing 57 games in a season, I never thought that would happen, again the medical staff have been excellent but it goes to show that if you look after yourself you can play as long as your body allows."
Q: It must have been really enjoyable for you with all the different opportunities in Europe, the push for the play-offs and the run in the FA Cup too?
EB: "It’s been an experience and a half; in my previous seven years here we were losing more than winning and going months without winning a game which was frustrating and that’s what you call pressure.
"Obviously last year we won the FA Cup and that was unbelievable and nobody can take that away from us.
"This year, though, we’ve been going into games confident we’re going to win so to have that winning feeling coming back and being in the top-half of the table rather than the bottom-half has been enjoyable and getting into the play-offs was fantastic.
"We just came up a bit short against QPR but then we had the FA Cup run back at Wembley again with the Community Shield as well, it’s been a packed season, probably not one of the best in the Club’s history but it’ll be up there in terms of the experience and the adventure, for the players it’s been a great experience."
Q: Did you think when Uwe Rosler walked through the door in December that you could go and reach the play-offs?
EB: "It was panic stations earlier in the season, the play-offs looked a far distance for us and the Chairman thought it was time for a change.
"The new manager came in and has been excellent; he’s shown his potential, shown he’s tactically very good and we’ve moved up the table.
"He cemented our play-off place before the end of the season and it’s just unlucky that we fell short at QPR.
"The job he’s done has been fantastic, we’re looking forward to next season now, we look at what Leicester did this season and that’s our aim to mirror that and get back in the Premier League next year.
Q: The team had its end of season meeting with the gaffer, what was the message he gave to the players?
EB: "In our end of season meeting the gaffer told us to go and have a rest because we’ve been excellent for him and we’ve given him everything.
"Next year, though, we’ve got to keep that hunger and we’ll have a full season so straight from the first game we want to get that winning feeling back and get to the top of the league.
"We’ll be looking for the league title, obviously Fulham are coming down, Norwich and Cardiff too so it doesn’t get any easier but we’re confident as a squad that we can go a long way next year and get promotion."
Q: You said that the aim is to win the title next season, to do that you’ll need consistency, so do you draw on the run you had between February and March when you put eight or nine wins together in a short space of time?
EB: "A winning mentality and the habit of winning is unbelievable, it’s a habit that we want to gain from the start of next season.
"We had great hopes this season, obviously we started with a 4-0 win at Barnsley but it just didn’t quite happen for us after that.
"The European games, as much as I hate to admit it, they did take their toll but you look back on the season and it’s been some experience that we’ve had, it’s been unbelievable.
"We come into next season determined not to have this feeling again, everybody is hungry to see us get promoted and for me I’ve put so much in this year that I think next year I’m going to have to get promoted if I want the chance to play back in the Premier League."