Pearce: Underdog tag works in our favour

Jason Pearce battles with former team-mate, 'Leeds' Billy Sharp
Jason Pearce battles with former team-mate, 'Leeds' Billy Sharp

JASON Pearce reckons Wigan Athletic can play on their underdogs tag at Middlesbrough this afternoon and take a big bite out of the five-point gap to safety.

Latics are hoping to close the gap on fourth-bottom Rotherham – who are at Birmingham today – with a positive result at the Riverside.

This group of lads has only just come together and we’ve managed to pick up a few good results against the odds

Jason Pearce

It won’t be easy against a team going all-out for promotion, but Pearce feels the visitors are more than capable of pulling off a fifth away win on the bounce.

“Middlesbrough are a very good team and will probably go up at the end of the season,” Pearce told the Evening Post.

“But we’ve got nothing to lose going there, and hopefully that will allow us to give a good account of ourselves.

“A lot of people have already written us off, but that could end up working in our favour.

“We’re going into every game as the underdogs and we’re managing to put in good performances.

“This group of lads has only just come together and we’ve managed to pick up a few good results against the odds.

“The gaffer, to be fair to him, is managing to keep us all upbeat, telling us we’re a good team and a good squad and we’re proving that with our performances.”

Latics signed off for the international break with a 1-1 draw against Bolton, with Martyn Waghorn popping up with a stoppage-time equaliser.

At the same time over in South Yorkshire, relegation rivals Rotherham were conceding two injury-time goals to crash 3-2 at home to Sheffield Wednesday.

And Pearce feels that four-point swing could prove to be ‘a turning point’ in the survival battle, with just seven games to go.

“We came in disappointed we hadn’t got the win we felt we deserved against Bolton on the balance of all the chances we created,” the former Leeds man acknowledged.

“But then we were obviously quite upbeat when we found out what had happened to Rotherham.

“That could act as a little turning point for us, and hopefully we can build on that.

“We know the job we’ve got to do, and the whole squad is sticking together and we’re doing the best we can.

“The number of matches left is going gradually down, there’s less and less points to play for, and we have to start picking points up as quickly as possible.

“You have to take it one game at a time and concentrate on what we can do and putting in good performances.

“In the situation we’re in, you’re obviously hoping the other clubs in the mix aren’t picking up points.

“But we can’t control that. All we can do is do our job and hope that’s good enough.”