Defender Jason Pearce says Wigan Athletic cannot count on other teams doing them favours in their bid to stay in the Championship ahead of tomorrow’s clash with Bolton Wanderers.
The Latics currently sit 22nd in the table and six points adrift of safety with just eight games left of the season and welcome the Trotters to the DW Stadium.
Pearce believes Wigan need to be masters of their own fate ahead of the game, and hopes for a derby-day win to kickstart their survival bid.
“We can’t rely on other teams doing us favours,” said the 27-year-old. “We’ve got eight games left starting with the massive game against Bolton.
“I really look forward to games like that, they’re always physical and it means that extra bit for everyone involved.”
“Getting a result against our local rivals would really spur the team on. We need to get the result for our survival, but it’ll be that bit sweeter if we win in a local derby.”
Wigan come into the match in decent form, having won three of their last five games under manager Malky Mackay.
However, they have failed to secure a victory in any of their last 16 home games, a run stretching back to 30 August.
Pearce knows this is a key reason for the club finding themselves in the position they are in, and says it is something which desperately needs addressing.
“We’ve got to start producing results at home, it’s as simple as that,” said the former Leeds man.
“Our home form hasn’t been acceptable all year. We’ve got to stick together and keep doing the good things, but cut the bad things out.”
The match will be the third time the clubs have clashed this season, with Bolton having secured wins at the Macron Stadium in the reverse league fixture and FA Cup.
Whereas Wigan’s home form is abject, the Trotters have not won any of their last seven away games, losing the last six.
Manager Neil Lennon is focusing on his young squad getting a result to reinforce their position in the Championship table.
“It’s an important game for us on Saturday,” said the Northern Irishman. “If we win, we consolidate our position in the Championship for next season.
“This season we’ve had young players coming in and not just making up numbers. It’s been a highlight them coming through.
“We’ve got Zach Clough. Without putting pressure on him, is he someone you could build a team around? Yes he is. That’s a start.
“We also have two young players in Josh Vela and Tom Walker who will do a great service to this club. Tom in particular is emerging as a fine player.”
Lennon admitted that he was unsure as to why Wigan had struggled so far this season, but warned that they can still pose a threat.
“I’ve been surprised by Wigan,” he added. “I thought they would be there or thereabouts. I don’t know why it’s not worked for them.
“They are a dangerous side though, and we will have to perform to our best to come away with a result.”
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