David Perkins admits he is keeping the league table in his peripheral vision going into this weekend’s clash with Burton.
The midfielder, who has filled in all over the park already this season, knows his side will be in for a fight against their fellow-promoted rivals at the DW Stadium, but insists they can carry their recent upturn in form into the next block of games.
After last weekend’s international break, Latics face a frantic run of three games in a week, and Perkins says the players are looking at their next five games, against Burton, Leeds, Brighton, Cardiff and Reading, as a vital block in the fixture list.
“It’s easier to say no you’re not looking at the table but of course you are,” admitted Perkins.
“We just need to go on a run now and get as many points form the next five games as possible.
“But let’s start off with three points.
“We have five games in the next couple of weeks so we’re looking at that as a block to get as many points as we can.”
Wigan have picked up their form in recent weeks, climbing out of the bottom three with four points from their last two games, and Perkins is confident they can improve further as injured players come back into contention as Gary Caldwell’s new squad gels.
But while front line stars watch from the stands, the 34-year-old has no problems plugging any gaps.
“I’m happy to fill in where I’m needed,” he explained.
“We had a bit of a slow start but now the new team is gelling again.
“The gaffer’s got some new ideas we’re implementing so it’s just taking a bit of time, like it did last year really.
“Now we have to go on the right run and climb up the league. There’s been quite a few new players so it was always going to take a little bit of time.
“The Championship is a tough league and you need two people for every position to keep competition then you’ve got Donervon Daniels coming back, Reece James, Andy Kellett isn’t far off so there’s plenty of quality in the physio room so the sooner we can get them to help us out the better.”
Latics can climb the table and close the gap on 15th-placed Burton to one point with a win at the DW Stadium.
And Perkins insists only a win will do, despite admitting Latics will have to work for it.
“They’ve started the season pretty well,” he said.
“Obviously both clubs are promoted and they’ve started quite well.
“They’re a tough side, they’re working hard, they’re in for the fight.
“But we just want to go out there and win the game, simple as that – play the right football in the right kind of way. At the end of the day it’s a big game for us and we want all three points.”
Perkins feels that the timing of the international break wasn’t great considering how results had started to pick up.
But he also admitted that by looking at it from the injured players’ point of view, it could turn out to be a good thing.
“It gives the lads who are injured chance to get back, get the squad stronger so from their point of view it’s probably a good time, but from a personal point of view it came at a bit of a bad time but you can’t do anything about that,” he said.