Gary Caldwell admits a fear of only being ‘one game from slipping up’ will ensure Wigan Athletic continue to fire on all cylinders for the rest of the season.
A remarkable run of only two defeats in the last 25 league games, the last 11 of which have been unbeaten, means confidence is positively oozing out of the DW Stadium at present.
Their latest triumph - a 2-1 victory at fellow promotion-chasers Walsall - saw Latics climb to a season-high second spot in League One, behind only long-time leaders Burton. Despite all the plaudits coming their way, Caldwell has revealed the secret that will prevent Latics taking their eye off the ball between now and May.
“You can never rest in this game, because you’re only ever one week, one game, from slipping up,” he said.
“You have to always look forward rather than back.
“Of course you can enjoy performances and results like we had on Saturday.
“But it’s gone now, and we’re fully focused on the next game and trying to improve even further.
“We always want to try and progress and, while it’s good to win games, now is also a good time to improve.
“There’s not too much going wrong at the moment, but it’s about fine-tuning our levels to try and make us even better.”
The quality in the Latics squad has never been in doubt, with Saturday’s match-winner Yanic Wildschut having to wait for his chance before coming off the bench to win the game in stoppage-time.
But Caldwell also points to a steely resolve to get the job done as equally important in his side’s sensational surge up the table.
“It’s down to hard work and the good work we’ve been doing on the training pitch,” the Latics boss added.
“The players are really working hard, showing a great spirit and a togetherness, every day.
“There’s no easy formula to winning football matches.
“It’s about hard work and dedication - and the players are showing that in abundance.”
Latics will put on free coaches for supporters travelling down to Swindon for the League One clash on Good Friday.
The match has been switched to a 5.30pm kick-off to accommodate Sky TV coverage, which rules out fans returning home after the game on the train.
However, chairman David Sharpe has confirmed the club will foot the bill for coach travel, which should ensure another bumper crowd for a potentially-pivotal encounter.
“The fans have been unbelievable this season in the way they have travelled and backed the team in numbers,” said Sharpe.
“And we feel this is something we can do for them in return.
“This is an absolutely crucial part of the season, and we want to help Gary and the players keep up the momentum in every way we can.”