Jamie Hanson admits three points this weekend against Aston Villa could ‘change the whole thing’ for bruised and battered Wigan Athletic.
It’s been another eventful week at the DW Stadium, with Warren Joyce being sacked as manager on Monday and replaced by interim boss Graham Barrow.
Just 24 hours later, Wigan’s task of remaining in the Championship was made even more difficult with relegation rivals Wolves and Blackburn picking up three points and one point respectively in their ‘catch-up’ matches.
That leaves Latics five points adrift of safety with only nine matches to go.
Hanson, though, isn’t going to throw-in the towel just yet.
“It’s still very tight at the bottom of the league – even one win can change the whole thing,” Hanson told the Wigan Post.
“We’re not out of it yet, there’s too many games left for that.
“We won’t be giving up, we’ll keep going, and anything can happen.
“There’s nine cup finals left, and it doesn’t matter how we get the wins - we’ve just got to win.
“We’ve all got to believe, and to be fair I think there’s still a of of belief in the camp.
“Even in training, the confidence and the belief is there.
“We’ve just got to maybe believe a bit more on a match day, and stop giving silly little goals like last weekend.”
The ‘silly little goal’ Hanson referred to gave Bristol City their own relegation lifeline, securing a 1-0 win at the DW that, temporarily, lifted them out of the bottom three.
Latics were left to bemoan the 87th-minute winner from Aden Flint coming from a corner that shouldn’t have been, and also a possible offside later in the move that wasn’t spotted.
However, Hanson says it’s too late to be crying over spilt milk.
“All the lads thought it shouldn’t have been a corner, but that’s no excuse,” he acknowledged.
“We still should have defended it properly and then the goal wouldn’t have come from it.
“It was gutting to lose, especially in the last five minutes, but we’ve got to dust ourselves down and get ready again for Villa.
“It’s a big game, but Bristol City was also a big game for us, and we didn’t rise to the occasion.
“We need to show a reaction this weekend, and put on a good show and hopefully get the three points.”
Hanson has been a virtual ever-present in the Latics side since joining on loan from Derby in January.
Having covered right-back and midfield, he is showing the versatility that first attracted Latics to his services – although he’d rather focus all his attention on mastering one craft.
“It’s been good for me to play so many games, but I’m just trying to nail one position if I can,” he admitted.
“Centre midfield is probably my best position, and hopefully I can keep performing and make that my own.
“It’s been a good experience for me, at the other end of the table, helping the lads hopefully fight our way towards safety.
“And it’s a good group of lads here.
“Whether you’ve been here for a while or you’ve only arrived in January on loan, we’re all together and fighting for the same cause.”
Hanson also believes having the luxury of a full week’s training with no midweek game will be a positive heading into the weekend.
“When it’s been three games in a week it can affect the body a little bit,” he added.
“But when you’re out there on the pitch you just completely forget about it and give 100 per cent like always.
“We’ve had a full week’s training without a game to worry about in midweek, we’ve been able to have some drills in terms of formations, and I think that’ll be important come Saturday.”