MIKE Pollitt is adamant Wigan Athletic have what it takes to drag themselves out of trouble – starting tomorrow at arch-rivals Bolton.
The Farnworth-born goalkeeper (right) was a boyhood Wanderers fan, following them up and down the country before embarking on his own playing career.
No-one knows more about the implications of tomorrow’s game than Pollitt, who turns 40 on February 29.
“When you get used to playing in the Premier League, that’s where you want to stay,” Pollitt told the Evening Post.
“In an ideal world, both teams would stay up, because it’s the only place to be.
“Once you start sliding... everyone knows the Champ-ionship is a tough league to get out of.
“There’s some big teams who have dropped down and never come back.
“But we have to stay positive – we don’t want to be thinking about playing in the Championship.”
Things don’t look good at present for Latics, who have 16 points from 24 matches.
But Pollitt says no-one in the dressing room has given up the ghost just yet.
“Of course we can do it – we can beat anyone on our day,” he insisted.
“It’s just making sure that day happens often enough.
“We’ve had a good chat and we’ve just got to stay together now, roll our sleeves up and do it for one another.
“If we can do that, if we can all stay together, no-one can live with us.
“Everyone has to believe we can get out of trouble.
“It won’t be easy tomorrow, but we’ve got to win. There’s no other way of putting it – we have to win. And we don’t care how we do it. If we play badly and win, nobody’s bothered.
“The ideal scenario is you play well and win, but we’re not bothered any more.
“Points are the only thing that matters, and making sure we have enough to get us out of that bottom three.”
Pollitt is expected to be on the bench, providing experienced back-up to another man with strong Bolton ties, Ali Al Habsi.
Despite not having made a single appearance this term, though, he’ll be preparing meticulously – given all three of his appearances last term came against the Wanderers.
“I’ll make sure I take my boots along because I normally get a game at Bolton,” he laughed.
“Three times I played against them last season – twice in the FA Cup when Ali was ineligible and once in the league when Kirky (Chris Kirkland) got injured.
“I knew I’d be playing in the FA Cup, but the league game was bizarre, coming on for the last 20 minutes.
“I had a few saves to make as we held on for a point, and I did get a bit of stick from my mates who are all Bolton fans, but it was all good in the end because we managed to hold on for a point.”