Graham Barrow has urged Wigan Athletic to ‘test the character’ of Ipswich Town on Tuesday night – and drag the Tractor Boys further into the relegation mire.
Latics have travelled down to Suffolk desperately in need of a win to cut the gap to safety, which currently stands at seven points with the same number of games remaining.
After eight games without a win, Ipswich themselves are only six points clear of the drop zone – and nervously looking over their shoulder.
“If we could manage to beat them, they would be absolutely still be in the mix,” acknowledged Barrow.
“We’re well aware Ipswich are having a rough time, the locals aren’t happy.
“If we can start the game well, it does take a very strong player to be able to come out and play in those circumstances.
“We have to test their character as much as we possibly can. If you can take the crowd out of the equation down there, you’re well on the way towards a positive result.
“I thought we managed to silence the crowd very well at Newcastle on Saturday.
“If you can do it there, you can do it anywhere.
“We’ve just got to concentrate on ourselves, and try to take it to the last game.
“If we can do that, we’re more than capable of dealing with that pressure.”
Tonight’s game is the second of a vital week for Latics, with a home game against already-relegated Rotherham to come on Saturday.
Latics were unlucky to lose 2-1 at league leaders Newcastle at the weekend, having competed with Rafa Benitez’s men for long periods.
“We’ve known we can turn it on its head this week, but we need the same sort of performance and effort as Saturday,” recognised Barrow.
“Usually when you get the performances consistently the results will then turn.
“It’s too easy to say that if we get a good performance at Ipswich we’ll probably win the game. It doesn’t work like that – because we have to make it happen.
“The good thing is that we’re together for two days to get ourselves mentally right for the game.”
Barrow’s plans for the game will not include striker Omar Bogle, who may have kicked his last ball until next season after pulling a thigh muscle at St James’ Park.
“It’s not great news for Omar,” reported Barrow.
“He’s probably struggling to play again this season, but we’ll know better when he has his scan.
“If there’s an outside chance he can play again he’ll obviously make it, but we have to plan without him.”