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Tuesday 07 February 2012

Martinez: Wigan ready for survival battle

Latics boss says spirit in the camp is strong ahead of vital run of matches

Wigan battled to a draw against Everton in the League at the weekend

Wigan manager Roberto Martinez says he has great confidence in his side as they face up to a crucial stage in their fight to avoid relegation from the Barclays Premier League.

The Latics are currently at the foot of the table, but only five points separate the bottom five sides and Martinez said the spirit was good in the camp.

Wigan ended a run of four straight League defeats against Everton at the weekend - and were only denied victory by a late Victor Anichebe header.

"The crowd are right behind the team - we are a strong unit"
- Roberto Martinez

"I wasn't happy with the last two performances [at Tottenham and QPR], I thought the situation we are in really affected us – but that wasn’t the case on Saturday," he said.

"I saw a free team, a group of players who really enjoyed getting on the ball and working for each other and that really pleased me and gives me great confidence to look forward to the end of the season.

"We've been in this situation before, we know it's going to be extremely difficult, but you look at the crowd and they're right behind the team. We are a strong unit and that’s the challenge we've got ahead."

Latics defender Emmerson Boyce agreed that the Wigan fans could prove vital as the team looks to get out of trouble.

"We need them more than ever now to stay behind us and get us through some tough challenges," he told Wigan's official website.

"These experiences are not new for us, we've been through fights like this before and we need to draw on that experience now.

"Saturday's game against Bolton is going to be massive, neither side can afford to lose it and after the performance against Everton we're going to go there full of confidence."

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Key Points

  • Wigan bottom of the Barclays Premier League table
  • Boss Martinez pleased with spirit of players in draw against Everton
  • Latics face vital match against fellow strugglers Bolton on Saturday