A defiant Roberto Martinez insisted Wigan's daunting fixture list is an opportunity rather than a nail in their coffin. The Latics gained another point on Saturday for their battle against relegation in a game they dominated.
A glance at the next five matches they must play made it look even more of a missed opportunity, with Liverpool, Chelsea, Manchester United and Arsenal all waiting. Draws have been Wigan's main problem, particularly at home, where they have won only once while sharing the points on seven occasions.
Martinez, the Wigan manager, said: "We haven't been able to create any momentum and that's probably why we've lost so many points. In the last five games we dropped eight points, and eight points would have put us in a comfortable position.
"I do believe we've got a chance against anyone. Yes, we need to get points because we're catching up but in many ways this is the best we've played in the past three seasons.
"I feel the result is around the corner and once we get over that hurdle then the issues of confidence and having a bit of luck [become less], and probably the best way to do that is to have a top result against one of the top sides. That's how we have to break that barrier."
Saturday's performance in many ways encapsulated Wigan's season, with chances going begging before and after James McArthur prodded in the opener, while Paul Scharner equalised from West Bromwich Albion's only real opportunity.
Wigan: AL HABSI 6/10; ALCARAZ 5; CALDWELL 6; FIGUEROA 6; BOYCE 7; McARTHUR 7; McCARTHY 6; MOSES 7; DISANTO 6; MALONEY 6
WBA: FOSTER 7; SHOREY 5; RIDGEWELL 6; McAULEY 6; JONES 6; MORRISON 5; MULUMBU 7; SCHARNER 6; THOMAS 6; LONG 6; BRUNT 7
Scorers: Wigan McArthur 54. WBA Scharner 65.
Subs: Wigan McManaman (McCarthy, 80), Diame (Maloney, 80), Crusat (Figueroa, 89). WBA Andrews (Mulumbu, 80), Dorrans (Thomas, 86).
Booked: Wigan Boyce, McManaman. WBA Scharner, Brunt, Mulumbu, Thomas . Man of the match Boyce. Match rating 7/10. Poss: Wigan 56% WBA 44%.
Attempts on target: Wigan 6 WBA 2.
Referee M Oliver (Northumberland). Att 21,379.