Leam Richardson says there is a “lot of hard work” ahead after his Wigan side finally sealed the League One title with a 3-0 victory at Shrewsbury.
A 43rd-minute own goal from Josh Vela and a second-half double from Will Keane ensured the Latics finally got themselves over the line after no win in their last five matches.
Keane also won the division’s Golden Boot with 26 goals.
Richardson said: “It doesn’t come without the fans spending, not the money, but the time to travel up and down the country, journeys back from Portsmouth. However hard that they are, this makes them all worthwhile.
“We started with three players, with no staff, with no recruitment. We’ve been through all that but to come together so quickly has been complimentary to the group of people and the professionals that they are.
“I’ve been fortunate at most clubs I’ve worked at to achieve something and you’ve got to give your experience into them as well. Football is made up of small inches and small margins. And if you work tirelessly every day, you’ll get those small margins and when you need to get over the line this means so much for the supporters.”
On what it felt like to achieve his first promotion in management, Richardson added: “My first thoughts are about the support I get from my family, the support that I get from my staff and the players. It’s very humbling.
“There’s a lot that has gone on this year, there have been a lot of challenges that we’ve had to strive for, make those steps forward, and overcome. But when you’re supported like I am with my personal network, my staff and the players, it certainly makes it a lot easier.”
On Championship planning, he continued: “I think we started a couple of weeks ago, silently. You’ve got to be ready because we know the challenges that are ahead of us to take this football club back where we belong. It’s going to be a lot of hard work!”
After a cagey start, Marko Marosi did well to claw Max Power’s 35-yard free-kick around the post.
Power later rattled the post with a free-kick from an acute angle, before the ball fortuitously bounced off Vela and over the line.
In the 50th minute, Keane doubled the advantage by sending Marosi the wrong way from the spot after Tom Flanagan had handled Power’s strike.
Keane got his second 14 minutes later, getting the faintest of glances on James McClean’s inviting dead-ball delivery.
Daniel Udoh had the home team’s best chance late on but he could not bundle the ball past Ben Amos from point-blank range.
Shrewsbury boss Steve Cotterill was quick to praise Wigan’s successes.
He said: “Congratulations to them. It’s a long season and I believe the team who wins the league deserves to win it. Today was always going to be a difficult game, however, it was made a little bit more difficult just before half-time.
“We haven’t done enough in the game, I don’t think there was a lot in the game to be honest but they had those sharper moments than us. The bottom line is that’s the difference.”
Cotterill also fumed about the performance of referee Stephen Martin.
“The minute we had the referee today I worried. I’ve had him before and he always wants to be part of the party. He wanted to be part of the party today. Not for me from before kick-off. After kick-off, it just enhanced what I thought of him before the game.”