Wigan Athletic midfielder James McArthur is urging his teammates to forget their battering at St James’ Park and concentrate fully on the significant game ahead against Queen’s Park Rangers.
The defeat against Newcastle United – in which Honduran defender Maynor Figueroa was dismissed early on for a debatable foul – has left the Latics only two points from the danger zone.
But the Scottish international believes the team needs to draw a line in the sand and focus on their ‘biggest game of the season’ – the visit of the Premier League’s bottom club.
“The red card had a big impact on the game,” he told the club’s website. “It was disappointing.
“But we’ve got a massive match against QPR at the weekend and that has to be the main focus from now on.
“It is the biggest game of the season now in terms of trying to show people how we can battle against adversity like we did last season.”
McArthur admits it will be hard work to overcome a resurgent QPR, but is confident the squad is strong enough to meet the challenge from Harry Redknapp’s side.
“We need to work hard to get all three points and really push up the table,” he added.
“We’ve got a good enough squad to deal with suspensions and injuries, and moments like these are dealt with because of the benefit of having a strong squad.”
Wigan will be without captain Gary Caldwell, who picked up his fifth booking in the game on Monday night, while the appeal to rescind Figueroa’s red was rejected yesterday.
The FA appeals panel agreed with the decision of referee Mike Jones, despite receiving a letter from Latics boss Roberto Martinez, who was disappointed with the outcome.
“We are disappointed, clearly, because we felt we put forward an excellent case,” Martinez told the club’s website.
“But we will draw a line under the incident, and continue our preparations for Saturday.”