Writer: Niall Owens
Date:Sunday April 22 2012
The Latics were dragged right back into the relegation fight on Saturday afternoon, after Fulham fight back, following Emmerson Boyce's stunning opener at Craven Cottage.
Phillip Senderos' towering header finally broke the visitor's resistance after they had seemed to whether the storm, after seeing the Cottagers hit the woodwork twice through the impressive Pavel Pogrebnyak.
The Latics' recent impressive run looked to set to continue when they took the lead through the unlikely Boyce. The right back linked up terrifically with substitute Conor Sammon, and finished with aplomb to send the travelling Latics into delirium.
Following back to back victories against the Champions Manchester United, and on the road to Arsenal, they looked set to put further light between themselves and the bottom three.
But the game changed within 60 seconds of the opener, Russian international Pogrebnyak levelled things up with a great strike from outside the box following a neat one two, with Clint Dempsey.
From then on it was all Fulham and Roberto Martinez looked to have settled for a point, and brought on Ben Watson to tighten up the ship. But for the second time in a number of weeks they left West London with nothing following last gasp heartache.
Results elsewhere were not kind, with both Blackburn and QPR picking up crucial wins. Rangers have now leapfrogged Wigan on goal difference and Blackburn have reduced the gap between themselves and the Latics to only 3 points.
Bolton will rue a missed opportunity at home to Swansea after only picking up a point at hime, but do have two games in hand on all of their rivals once of which is against Aston Villa in midweek. Victory for Bolton would certainly see Villa being dragged into the fight as we head into the final three weeks of the season.
Encouragingly for all concerned with Wigan is that they are indeed 3 points clear with two games to play at home and they away game coming at Blackburn.
Before Saturday's encounter Martinez was keen to stress they had a lot of hard work still left before securing survival and he remained upbeat following the defeat, as he spoke to the waiting press: 'Today was perhaps a game too far; the demands over the last few weeks have been huge, but we have to recover and be ready for next week.'
Up next are inform Newcastle United who are right in the mix for a Champions League place, and it sure to be a cracking game at the DW Stadium, and Martinez will be keen to see his side take advantage of having two games at home in the run in.
The key thing for Wigan is that they unlike season's before, they have their destiny in their hands, and they are not reliant on other results going their way. If they concentrate on their own games they will stay up, and Martinez will ensure his side quickly regain their focus.
To read more from Niall visit laticsinanutshell.blogspot.co.uk
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Date:Sunday April 22 2012
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