Roberto Martinez has thrown down the gauntlet to some of his squad members by insisting there are places up for grabs in the first XI.
The Wigan boss was left to rue missed chances on Saturday as he saw his side fall to a 2-1 home defeat against Fulham, and is planning to make changes for Tuesday's trip to West Ham in the Capital One Cup.
Martinez has told his fringe players that anyone who impresses has an excellent chance of staying in the side for the next Premier League clash.
"We want to win every single game, not just in the last third of the season," Martinez said. "We need to improve a little bit more across the board and our performances need to be more solid.
"Obviously there'll be positions up for grabs against Sunderland."
The Spaniard did have some positives to take from his side's defeat at the DW Stadium in the form of young strikers Callum McManaman and on-loan Arsenal forward Ryo Miyaichi, who both impressed with cameo appearances from the bench.
Miyaichi, 19, and McManaman, 21, came on as replacements for defensive duo Gary Caldwell and Emmerson Boyce with less than 15 minutes to go as Martinez attempted to roll the dice.
The young duo caught the eye of the Wigan boss, putting them in pole position to be handed starts on Tuesday night.
"That's a real positive for us to have a couple of youngsters of that quality," Martinez said.
"I did think they were influential (against Fulham), the way that they came on and were infectious, they played with a real enjoyment and probably we lacked that rhythm early on in the game.
"So I was really pleased with that and I think it shows the competition we've got now for places.
"It's so important that everyone's got an opportunity. It's great to see Callum's development over the last two or three seasons and I think he showed that he's ready to help the team in many games to come.
"Ryo slowly is adapting and getting ready, and when he's at his best he can be a player that gives you penetration and makes things happen."