David Perkins insists Wigan Athletic are ready, willing and able to roll up their sleeves and fight for the right to play at Millwall tonight.
Latics make the long trip to south London knowing they could end the night top of League One, with leaders Burton Albion – two points clear – facing a tough game at Sheffield United.
A positive result tonight would go some way towards making amends for last season’s 2-0 defeat at the Den, a result which all-but confirmed Wigan’s relegation to the third tier.
That game was a real scrap from start to finish – a relegation dogfight that saw Latics finish with nine men following the second-half sendings-off of Martyn Waghorn and Jason Pearce.
With the stakes again sky-high – Millwall themselves are fifth and still chasing automatic promotion – Perkins says Latics will not be found wanting if and when the tackles start flying in.
“We’re always ready for a fight and it’ll be no different at Millwall,” Perkins told the Evening Post.
“We’ve shown we can play football, and we’ve shown we can also mix it when required on the road.
“You look back to the Fleetwood game, which was a bit scrappy, in horrible conditions, and we got the job done.
“We’ll respect Millwall, but we’ve got a good away record that we’re determined to keep going.
“They’ll probably be more fearful of us than we are of them.”
Having seen the gap between themselves and third place extend to four points at the weekend, Latics could take another huge step towards an immediate return to the Championship with another positive result.
Perkins, though, is not looking further than the 90 minutes on the pitch.
“We’re not really thinking about the possibility of going top,” he insisted.
“We’re just concentrating on taking it one game at a time.
“The gaffer set us a challenge to go 12 games unbeaten, which we’ve now done. And we’ll look forward to the next challenge that he sets us.”
On a personal level, Perkins admits he’s still pinching himself at the way things have turned out, having been released by Blackpool at the end of last season.
“It’s been a fantastic move for me – I love the football club and I love coming in for training every day,” he added.
“It always helps when you’re winning, but it’s just a good place to be at the moment.
“I probably never thought I’d end up at a club like Wigan. It’s been fantastic for me.”