Fleetwood Town full-back Lewie Coyle says this season’s squad has the potential to be fighting at the right end of the table rather than engaging in another relegation scrap.
Town are presently 12th in League One on 34 points, having been 12th with 33 points this time last year.
January last year was to be the month that sent Uwe Rosler’s side into a relegation battle.
However, Coyle believes Joey Barton’s class of 2018/19 are a different beast as they prepare to face an Oxford United side sitting in the bottom four.
“January will be a massive month,” said the 23-year-old, who has just penned a further extension to his loan from Leeds United.
“We have some winnable games. Every game in this league is winnable but the league table does not really lie at this stage in the season.
“We have a lot of games against the teams that are around us and just below us so I think if we want to kick on and be where we want to be at the end of the season, this month is a vital month for us.
“But to answer your question if we are in a better state at this point in the season than last; I think, hugely.
“I think if a team needs a group of players to kick on and go that way (up) rather than another way then I think this group of players is the one to do it.”
But Coyle has been left scratching his head as to why this crop is not in a better position as they aim to bounce back from their 3-2 FA Cup defeat to AFC Wimbledon.
He said: “As a group I just think ‘why are we not so much higher up the league table?’
“When it clicks for us in games we are a fantastic side but consistency has been a problem for us, in my opinion, this year.
“I’m a very ambitious kid and we have to look to win every game of football we play from now until the end of the season. If you start to put a run together and teams lose, you never know.”