EMMERSON Boyce admits he put Premier League survival before the feelings of his own family this week.
Boyce, who hails from a family of Arsenal supporters, was immense as Wigan Athletic deservedly won 2-1 at the Emirates on Monday night.
In doing so, they moved five points clear of the drop zone – but Boyce admits he might now have to keep his head down at family gatherings this summer.
“My brothers are still big Arsenal fans, they were at the Emirates and I was quick to give them a ring after and see what they had to say,” he told the Evening Post.
“We all supported Arsenal from childhood – I remember the days of Ian Wright, David Rocastle and so on very well.
“To be honest, though, the only thing that matters now is Wigan and, even though it was great to win at Arsenal, the main thing is that we stay up at the end of the season.”
Latics now have four wins from their last five games, and Boyce admits it’s no more than they deserve.
“We’ve been playing better in recent weeks and we thoroughly deserved the win,” he added.
“We went there with a definite game plan and, although the early goals helped us, we showed grit and determination at the end to grind out the result.
“Arsenal came at us with everything but we were probably looking the more likelier scorers at the end.
“We have got all the belief in the world that we can hold on to our top-flight status.”
The Barbados skipper is also delighted Latics are finally proving they belong among the elite.
“A lot of people were quick to write us off and say we were certainties for relegation – as is the case every season,” he acknowledged.
“But that gives us a point to prove. And what bigger challenge can you have than games against the likes of Liverpool, Chelsea, Manchester United and Arsenal?
“To be honest, I’d have been happy if we’d just have been still in contention at this stage.
“But to beat three of those teams has been a fantastic achievement, and we should probably have got something at Chelsea as well.
“If you’re judging the performances as a block, the results have been more than justified, and we seem to have discovered a new resilience about us.
“We’re looking forward to the games now and, as Wigan Athletic normally do, we are rising to the challenge.”
l Latics have received an allocation of nearly 3,000 tickets for the away game at Blackburn on May 7.
Tickets go on sale tomorrow to corporate season-ticket holders, with season-ticket holders getting their chance on Friday.
Any remaining tickets will go on sale next Thursday to supporters who have attended a minimum of five previous Premier League away games this season. The rest will go on general sale next Friday, April 27.
Tickers are £15 adults, £10 OAPs and £5 U16s.