Wednesday 13 December 2017

Rivals' results do not interest me -- Martinez

Wayne Gardiner

It is business as usual for Wigan manager Roberto Martinez today, despite knowing his side's quest for Premier League survival could be boosted over the course of it.

The Latics are not in action until their trip to Blackburn tomorrow night, meaning they have a watching brief as their relegation rivals -- Rovers apart -- take to the field. A stellar run of form has put Wigan in the driving seat to avoid the drop, though, and should either Bolton or QPR lose their games today, Martinez's side will only need a point tomorrow to make themselves safe.

But the Spaniard has become steeped in knowledge of how to survive during his three years at Wigan, and knows there is little point in him sitting in front of the television with his fingers crossed today. "We're working. We'll train at the same time as the games are going on," he said of his plans. "From our point of view we know that the next two games are vital for us. We can't look or rely on elsewhere because in football, when you rely on other results, nine out of 10 don't go your way.

"We understand what we have to do. We need to prepare for the game on Monday and make sure we are refreshed and ready for that. It's not a moment to look elsewhere -- it's a moment to look into ourselves and get as many points as we can. When we finish the season, then we can start assessing how everything went."

But despite Martinez's determination not to think about it, there is every chance that come kick-off tomorrow, Wigan could almost be home and dry. Martinez insists that means little to him, and says his side have never looked at the league table all season -- citing their wins over the likes of Arsenal, Manchester United and Newcastle as evidence.

"It (other results) still won't guarantee us anything or change anything. We know we need to concentrate on ourselves and forget about the table," he said. "You can't be bottom of the table and go to places like we did and play in the manner that we did and pay attention to what is going on elsewhere.

"That's the approach we will have in the last two games. Whatever happens elsewhere, we haven't got enough points and that's the truth of it. And, until we get enough, we cannot switch off. That's our focus."

He added: "We don't look at it that way. We look at the six points we have left to fight for and we will give everything we've got."

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