Wigan manager Roberto Martinez says his players will upset the odds by staying in the English Premier League.Martinez’s side came from two goals down to beat West Ham last weekend and are only behind 17th-placed Birmingham City on goal difference.
Any outcome at Stoke City in Sunday’s final game of the season could make them safe, depending on other results.
“It’s probably fair to say that outside Wigan everybody was expecting us to have been relegated by now. But we have always believed in our work and our talent and now we have a unique opportunity to achieve our aim and build,” Martinez said.
“I think we have to concentrate on the points tally that we can affect and it will be a real achievement to get 42 points. You can not affect things elsewhere.”
“We asked before the West Ham game if we could stick as close together as we could be as a football club. We did just that from the chairman to the players through to the fans. We now have one last cup final to win.”
There had been talk of basement rivals Blackpool having an easy fixture at Manchester United on Sunday because Alex Ferguson will rest players ahead of next weekend’s Champions League final.
But Martinez pointed out the champions have won every home Premier League game this season – aside from a draw with West Brom – and will be hard to beat regardless of which players they field.
“You always know that going to Old Trafford it is going to be a tough game because you are not part of such a fantastic football club unless you’re a winner and have a real pride in what you do,” he said.
“So all these stories that Blackpool are not going to find difficult opposition – these people must know nothing about football. When you are facing a team of the stature of Manchester United, you know you are in for a tough game.”
Goalkeeper Mike Pollitt (arm) is the only injury problem for Martinez as Bolton loan man Ali Al-Habsi continues in between the sticks.