The Reds performed a miracle last year to ensure their Championship safety after a dreadful start to their campaign, with their form towards the end of the season among the best in the division.
And Flitcroft, who has strengthened well during the close season, is keen to avoid a repeat this time around and cannot wait for the Latics clash to come around.
"We are all very excited about the new season," he said.
"We showed tremendous strength of character to stay up in dramatic circumstances last season and I was proud of all the lads who contributed, but we don't want to be having to endure those sorts of nerves again.
"We have strengthened the squad and the players are raring to go. Individually and collectively we have worked hard to be ready. I'm very pleased with the fitness of the players."
Among Flitcroft's summer recruits are strikers Chris O'Grady and John Cofie, but the Reds boss wants one more frontman and has confirmed his interest in Aaron Mclean.
However, no deal is expected to be done before Saturday.
"Signing a striker probably won't happen this week," Flitcroft added. "But we remain hopeful something will be done before the following Saturday."