Martinez - No-one can relax
Wigan manager Roberto Martinez knows from experience that none of the teams battling relegation can afford to relax.
By Rob Parrish - Follow me on Twitter @skysportsrobp
Last Updated: 26/04/12 11:24am
Wigan manager Roberto Martinez knows from experience that none of the teams battling relegation can afford to relax until the final whistle blows on the last day of the season.
The Latics have clambered out of the bottom three in recent weeks after impressive victories over Liverpool, Manchester United and Arsenal, but were given a reality check with their late loss at Fulham last time out.
Martinez's men are in a clutch of clubs separated by five points which also features Blackburn, Bolton, QPR and Aston Villa, with the quintet battling to avoid joining Wolves in plying their trade in the Championship next season.
It is a familiar story for the DW Stadium side, who only preserved their Premier League status on the final day of last term, when Hugo Rodallega's goal 12 minutes from time secured a dramatic 1-0 victory away to Stoke which saw them scramble above Blackpool and Birmingham.
Wigan play host to UEFA Champions League-chasing Newcastle on Saturday before a crucial trip to fellow strugglers Blackburn and a final-day meeting with bottom club Wolves on 13th May, with Martinez all too aware of how quickly the picture can change.
The Spaniard told Sky Sports News: "We are not looking at the table at all. Throughout this season we put ourselves in a situation where we have been catching up. We were fighting to get points we lost earlier in the season.
"Since February we have found a really good level of performance and that is all I'm concentrating on, to carry on that level until the final moment on the final day of the season.
"It would be a big mistake to think that we are safe just because we are outside the relegation places.
"We all know last season we were in the relegation places and came out in the last 15 minutes of the last game. That shows you the competitive nature of this league.
"There is only one team relegated at this stage and there are five teams for two places. It would be a big mistake for any one of that five to think that you are safe because you are out of the relegation places.
"We are really aware and realistic that everything is to play for. We have a unique opportunity of getting as many points as we can from the next nine and we will be giving our all for that."