Martinez plots Wigan’s great escape

Wigan boss Roberto Martinez insists the trip to Blackpool on Saturday will not decide their future in the English Premier League.Bottom-placed Wigan are two points from safety and a win over the Seasiders could see them out of the relegation zone by weekend’s end.

With Blackpool in 17th spot, Martinez’s team has the perfect opportunity to move out of the bottom three.

But the Spanish manager said the trip to Bloomfield Road was just another step in the battle to avoid relegation to the Championship.

“I wouldn’t say it is win or bust, but it is quite clear we need 10 more points between now and the end of the season and we have 18 to play for,” Martinez said.

“It is quite an exciting moment for us. In the last eight games, we played five of the top six teams in the Premier League. That is a big ask for any football club but I think the level of performance has been good.”

“But we need to get the wins now and we are going to approach the next six games in that manner.”

After the Blackpool game, the Latics meet Sunderland, Everton, Aston Villa, West Ham United and Stoke City to finish the season.

Martinez played down the need to collect three points on Saturday, despite the position it could potentially put his team in.

“With a win there (at Blackpool) you are not going to guarantee you stay up and losing does not mean you are going to go down,” Martinez said.

“It is just a very important step towards controlling your fate.”

Martinez expects an open encounter between the two relegation-threatened sides and said it was important to focus on each game as it comes for the remainder of the season.

“Blackpool are a team that are in front of us – in a position we would love to be. In these sorts of games there is an opportunity,” Martinez said.

“But we know it is going to be difficult. Blackpool have been able to score in almost every game they have played for the last 18 months and that a little bit describes the way they play.”

“There are going to be two sides with a clear attack-minded style (so) just be ready for a game that is going to have everything.”