Martinez banking on home comforts
Published 16/03/2013 | 14:16
Wigan manager Roberto Martinez believes the DW Stadium can still provide salvation for his side, despite an appalling record there this season.
The Latics have the worst home record in the top flight, taking just 10 points from a possible 42 with just two wins, the last coming on November 24. They will play half of their final 10 matches in front of their own fans, starting against Newcastle on Sunday, and Martinez is confident Wigan can utilise the feelgood factor of fans looking forward to an FA Cup semi-final appearance.
"It is something we have been working at and we need to change, but to give you a clear answer it is because we concede too many goals," said the Spaniard, trying to explain their poor home form.
"We haven't been playing too badly and it is not much different to the way we play away from home, but what is different is the final outcome and how easy we concede goals.
"On Sunday we see it as the start of the final five games at the stadium where we need to hit our best form and that is our focus.
"It is a big difference to play at the DW Stadium at this final time of the season where the whole environment is more intense and gives the players that extra yard and we need to take advantage of that."
It was around this time last season the Latics put together a formidable run which saw them win seven of their last nine matches to escape relegation.
Martinez believes that feat will help them 12 months on.
His side are three points from safety, although they have a match in hand, but he does not know how many more points they will have to add to their current total of 24 to survive.
"We are not looking at the points tally, all we are looking at is how we can get a winning run for the final 10 games," he added. "The lessons (of last season) are there, the experience is there from the dressing room and that gives you knowledge of what to expect. But this season the real fight to avoid relegation is harder than ever."