Wigan manager Malky Mackay has said his side must not rely on other teams too much for their safety in the Sky Bet Championship as they go into their final seven games.
The Latics were held to a 1-1 draw at home to Bolton Wanderers on Saturday where Martyn Waghorn sent in a 94th minute equaliser after Tom Walker put the visitors ahead in the 70th.
Mackay felt that his side deserved all three points but Wigan’s courage to score the late goal has given him hope and they must hold onto that attitude if they are to remain in the league.
He said: “We need to win games between now and the end of the season to close the gap; we can’t be relying on other teams too much.
“What I was delighted about was the way the players came back from it, they didn’t put their heads down and that’s exactly what we ask of them.
“It gives me great hope leading into these last seven games and we’ve got to keep showing courage.”
Bolton were indebted to goalkeeper Ben Amos who saved several attempts from Wigan players to threaten their survival, but there’s a feeling this battle is far from over.
The boss was impressed with the players on Saturday and based on their dominance and their ability to produce countless chances, he knows they can find a way to defy the odds.
“You can’t account for the way Bolton’s goal went in, it’s just a huge slice of misfortune for us. We defended really well throughout the game,” added Mackay.
“I thought we were terrific, we had a lot of domination on the ball in the right territories. We created plenty of chances and hit the bar twice.
“The two teams really went at it in a terrific atmosphere with fantastic support from our fans and lots of noise as well from the Bolton end, it made for a very good local derby.”
Wigan lie five points adrift of safety and four of the next seven games are against promotion chasers Middlesbrough, Derby County, Brentford and Wolverhampton Wanderers.
To win them all is hard to comprehend but to lose them all is unthinkable; the Latics must forget the current hierarchy of the league and simply focus on their goal.
“There’s a great fighting spirit at the moment, it’s a fresh group of players: some frees, some loans, some stalwarts, some kids, but they’re pulling together and we’re going toe-to-toe with whoever we play against,” Mackay added.
Main image courtesy of Wigan Athletic via YouTube, with thanks.