Roberto Martinez insists Wigan Athletic must focus on themselves to win points in relegation run-in

By Aimee Howarth

Wigan Athletic can secure Premier League survival if they concentrate only on their own points tally, says boss Roberto Martinez.

The Latics sit top of the drop zone five points adrift of safety but have a game in hand over closest rivals Newcastle, Aston Villa and Sunderland, all on 37 points.

But as they travel to the Hawthorns to face West Brom, Martinez believes his side have to put neighbouring teams out of mind if they are to stay in the top flight.

“We need points, that is very clear but we also need to focus on ourselves and our games,” he told the club website.

“If we carry on doing what we do and push the players into that belief-zone which makes us unique as a club then we’ll get to where we need to be.

“Looking at results elsewhere only distracts you from what we’re doing. Every team that has yet to reach the 40-point mark is still very much involved in this fight.

“We don’t see the challenge ahead with fear – it’s quite the opposite. We’re desperate to go to the Hawthorns in search of the points we need.

“I have huge respect for what West Brom have achieved this season. Steve Clarke has done an incredible job in his first managerial role at the club.”

Wigan will be without Maynor Figueroa for the clash after his season was ended early by a groin injury picked up in the 2-2 draw against Tottenham Hotspur.

They also travel without Ben Watson, Fraser Fyvie, Roman Golobart and Antolin Alcaraz, who are all nearing full fitness after injuries.

But despite missing a number of players, Martinez insisted his side is keen to take to the field after last weekend’s encouraging draw against Tottenham Hotspur.

“Other teams around us have a greater amount of points which is their strength, but I would argue our form is better in terms of the performances we’ve produced recently,” he said.

“Clearly against Spurs we did everything we had to in order to get three points, but were denied that by a freak moment near the end of the game.

“Another element that really impressed me was the fans. The atmosphere was incredible and when you see that you know you’re in for a strong finish to the season.

“Fans will have seen results elsewhere over the last week, but my message to them would be to remember that this is still in our own hands and to be proud of our club.”

Image courtesy of BBC Sport, via YouTube, with thanks

For more on this story and many others, follow Mancunian Matters on Twitter and Facebook.

Related Articles