D-Day for Diame

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MOMO Diame insists anything other than three points from Saturday’s crunch clash with Birmingham is ‘not an option’ for Wigan Athletic.

Latics go into ‘Showdown Saturday’ rock bottom of the Premier League with just nine matches remaining.

But such is the state of play at the bottom, a couple of wins would see the side jump into the relative safety of mid-table.

Much will depend on Wigan’s four remaining home matches, the first of which sees the Carling Cup-winning Blues visit the DW.

And the French-born midfielder says the importance of the game cannot be under-estimated.

“It’s the biggest game of the season by a mile,” Diame told the Evening Post.

“Three crucial points will be up for grabs, and we need to get them if we are to stay up.

“It is a must-win game. There’s no other way to put it.

“Even a point wouldn’t be good enough – and we are not thinking about anything other than a victory.

“We need to ignore everything else that is going on and concentrate on what we are doing, and these are three points we desperately need.”

Although Blues themselves are deep in the relegation mire, Diame knows they will not be pushovers.

And he earmarked striker Cameron Jerome (above) as the man to stop if Latics are to emerge victorious.

“It’s up to us as the home side to dictate the play and set the tempo,” he insisted.

“We know what they can do and they are dangerous, especially when they hit the long ball to Cameron Jerome.

“But if we can impose ourselves on the game and score an early goal, that would be key to our hopes of winning the game.”

Diame revealed at the start of the season he was a real student of the game and that he liked to keep tabs on the league table.

However, he has had to revise his thinking as a result of Wigan’s recent woes.

“The gaffer has told us not to look at the league table, and just focus on the here and now and the job in hand,” Diame admitted.

“He wants our concentration on the next game to be total, and that is the right way to be.

“For me, it is hard not to look at the league table, but that is the way it has to be.

“We’re all very positive about what’s coming up and we’re confident we can get enough points to stay up.”

The Wigan players go into the game after a week-long break in La Manga, which Diame admits has done them the world of good.

“It was an excellent experience, and a great way to blow off a few cobwebs,” he added.

“It was hard work for the majority, but there were opportunities to rest and have meals together as a group, which was nice.”