ROGER Espinoza insists there is still time for Wigan Athletic to make this a season to remember.
Wigan’s survival hopes took a massive hit on Tuesday night when they went down to a 3-2 home defeat to Swansea City.
It leaves them three points adrift of safety with just two matches to play –a trip to Arsenal next Tuesday and a home game against Aston Villa on Sunday week.
Latics may well have to pick up maximum points to secure their spot in the Premier League, and they also have the small matter of the FA Cup final against Manchester City on Saturday to prepare for.
But Espinoza, who joined Latics in the January transfer window from Sporting Kansas City, believes there is all still to play for.
“In football, you learn that you have to move on from disappointment pretty quick,” he acknowledged.
“Right now, we’re not feeling too great, but the closer it gets to Wembley the more we’ll feel the excitement.
“This was one of the reasons I came here, to be involved in big occasions like this.
“Obviously I knew I was also coming in to a relegation battle, but I’m just happy to be here and we’ve got plenty still to play for.
“We obviously have the FA Cup to compete for, before two big games in the league which we really have to win.”
The damaging defeat to Swansea really knocked the wind out of the Wigan sails after the morale-boosting 3-2 victory at West Brom last weekend.
Latics twice led, but defensive errors at the back saw the Swans return to South Wales with the points.
Espinoza, however, says this is no time for anyone to be feeling sorry for themselves.
“The gaffer just told us to keep our heads up after the game,” he revealed.
“It’s not over and we have to keep going. We have to learn from this, because you can’t be scoring two goals at home and losing the game.
“It was almost deja vu to what happened at West Brom, except on that occasion we managed to get the win.
“This time we couldn’t manage to pull off the win, and it leaves us with work to do.”
Espinoza’s opening goal – a crisp volley from the edge of the penalty area – was his first for the club.
But he admits he would have traded it for the three points on offer.
“I was obviously happy to score my first goal for Wigan, I was just sorry it didn’t help us to win the game,” Espinoza added.
“Things have been going well for me since I arrived, but I need to finish the season well and help the team push on.”
The Honduran gave a good account of himself in the left wing-back position in the absence of the injured Jean Beausejour, and he admits they were big shoes to fill on the night.
“It’s a tough position, because you have to be aware of everything behind you as well as in front,” he recognised.
“It’s also tough because you’ve had two guys here at Wigan who’ve played so well there for so long in Jean and Maynor (Figueroa).
“It’s never easy to fill in for key players who have made a spot their own, but I just tried to do my thing and kept working hard.”