Stephen Warnock insists Wigan Athletic have to be masters of their own destiny in the relegation dogfight.
When Latics won their last league game, against Brentford on January 21, they lifted themselves out of the bottom three on goal difference.
But with Latics in FA Cup action at Manchester United last Sunday, the rest of the division have taken the opportunity to steal a march.
There is now a three-point gap to fourth-bottom Burton and fifth-bottom Bristol City, although Warren Joyce’s men do have two games in hand on the Brewers and one on the Robins – ahead of Friday’s visit of Sheffield Wednesday.
It’s a deficit Latics are looking to cut as quickly as possible, but skipper Warnock says they can’t afford to worry about other teams.
“You always want to have the points in the bag and it does give them a psychological advantage to have played while we’ve not,” Warnock told the Evening Post.
“But we can only take care of ourselves, because there will also be times where we are playing in the week and the teams around us aren’t.
“It isn’t nice to see the other teams win and drop us back into the relegation zone, because you never want to look at the bottom three and see yourselves in it.
“But we have to go into Friday’s game knowing if we take care of ourselves then the rest will take care of itself.”
This time Latics will be looking to take advantage of playing before their rivals to make up some ground.
But that will be easier said than done against a Wednesday side who are shooting for promotion.
But Warnock says if they can perform the way they did for an hour at Old Trafford last weekend, they’ll be fine.
“We created a host of chances and did well in spells, which we should be proud of, especially away from home, in front of a big crowd,” he added.
“It showed a lot of our players are capable of playing at a higher level. We know Friday’s a big game, we know what’s on the line, but the confidence is high in the squad – and we believe in what we’re doing.”