Writer: Niall Owens
Date:Monday April 16 2012
Roberto Martinez takes his side to Arsenal on Monday evening, in the first of two trips to the capital this week, as they go in search of their first points from the principal since August 2010. In doing so, they have to overcome an inform Arsenal who after a torrid start to the season, are finishing strong and are well on course for a Champions League spot.
Wigan have never won on the road to Arsene Wenger`s men, since their arrival into the top flight. Their famous comeback victory in April 2010 is their only victory in thirteen previous attempts, but lately the Latics have made a habit of ending records.
Confidence is high amongst the squad at present, but Martinez is keen to see his side retain their focus ahead of the run in. Speaking to the press following their historical victory against Manchester United, on Wednesday evening, he called for calm: "It would be foolish to think we are out of the bottom three and we will stay there."
The Spaniard will be keen to ensure that his side continue with their impressive run of form which has seen them win, three out of their last four games, and have only lost twice in their last ten.
Despite being the lowest scores in the top flight, the recent form of the supporting front men, Victor Moses and Shaun Maloney, has played a huge part in their splendid run of results. The Latics have indeed won more on the road this season, with four victory`s coming away from the DW, but if they can get anything from tomorrow`s encounter they will surely see it as a bonus.
The final four games will be seen by many as the crucial stretch of games, a run in that sees them travel to fellow strugglers Blackburn Rovers and ends with a home clash against basement side Wolves.
Martinez believes that the battle to avoid the drop will, once again, come down to the final game of the season: "I think it will go down to the last game of the season because the fixture list has been a bit peculiar."
Fans will hope that this is not the case, and will be confident that experience of survival from seasons past, will serve their side well, in the final month of the club`s seventh season in the top flight.
Ahead of the clash, Martinez is likely to stick with the same XI for the sixth consecutive match with front man Hugo Rodallega likely to be involved from the bench, following his return to training.
Results elsewhere over the weekend have been encouraging with QPR losing at West Brom, and Blackburn suffering a crushing defeat to Swansea.
As was the case on Wednesday this game will be seen by Wigan as a bonus, if they continue with their impressive run of results, and with a bit more luck from the officials, they may well return to the North West with something.
More from Niall Owens can be found on his blog laticsinanutshell.blogspot.co.uk
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Date:Monday April 16 2012
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