Gary Caldwell has found a way of dealing with the tension at the top of the League One table – by not looking at it.
Latics’ title charge has stuttered following three draws in succession.
That has allowed sides below them to make up ground, with all four sides in the play-offs positions gaining more points during the same time frame.
Just three points separate second-placed Latics (65) with Gillingham, in fourth, with Millwall (59) and Bradford (58) not far behind.
It has ratcheted up the tension ahead of their remaining 10 games, starting with today’s visit of the Bantams.
But Caldwell has put the blinkers on and says his only concern is on overhauling Burton’s six-point lead to claim top spot.
He said: “I heard in the changing room some players and staff talking about which other teams had won, and it genuinely doesn’t bother me.
“You look above and you look at the spot you want to be in. We set our standards high, and don’t concern ourselves with the teams below. And that’s our focus.
“It genuinely doesn’t matter what other teams do, if we win all our games.
“Our focus is on our process and getting the win with each game.
“We want to win the league, we’ve always said that. While we’re second and doing okay, we want to finish higher.”
He added: “Sir Alex (Ferguson) called it squeaky bum time, and I know what he means.
“But it’s also an exciting time, this is where you want to be. We look forward to the challenge.”
Caldwell has not set a points target as they enter the crunch run-in.
“I don’t believe in doing that,” he said. “If you set it too high it can be daunting, set it too low and you achieve it, what do you do with the remaining games?”
On-loan Stephen Warnock may make his home debut for Latics today but injured duo Jason Pearce and Michael Jacobs are still missing.