Martinez - Two wins and two draws will save us

Wigan manager Roberto Martinez
Wigan manager Roberto Martinez
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ROBERTO Martinez has set Wigan Athletic a survival target of eight points from their final six matches to preserve their Premier League status.

Latics travel to West Ham this afternoon looking to bounce back from their midweek defeat at Manchester City.

The result leaves them three points adrift of safety but with a game in hand on all of their relegation rivals.

And Martinez reckons two wins and two draws will be enough to keep their heads above water.

He said: “Everyone talks about the 40-point mark, but it’s probably less than that because, for teams like us, goal difference will play a part. Then you rely on other teams.

“For you not to rely on anyone, 39 points is safe.

“But we don’t look at the fixtures and say ‘we’ll get a point there and three points there’ – if we’d done that we would have gone down last season!

“We beat Arsenal away, Manchester United at home, Newcastle at home...if anybody had predicted the results in advance, I don’t think they would have been the choices.

“The way we performed on Wednesday, you wouldn’t have said that was a team fighting relegation – and that’s down to the feeling we have got in the dressing room.”

Latics also have the small matter of an FA Cup final against Manchester City to look forward to next month.

Martinez, though, insists staying in the top flight is even higher on his list of priorities.

“Staying up would be our best achievement – better even than reaching the Cup Final – because it would have the biggest implications,” he acknowledged.

“If we are in Europe next season, but not in the Premier League, that is not going to fulfil our aim.

“This season, for different reasons, because of the amount of injuries we’ve had because we’ve been very good in terms of the consistency of our performances, if we could achieve our aim of staying in the Premier League, it would be our biggest achievement and most significant for the future because it would have incredible consequences.

“It has got us to the FA Cup final, something no-one thought we could do, and we have six games to go to try and achieve our title in the league.

“That’s all very exciting and I don’t understand why people get anxious. This is the period of the season you really enjoy.”