Roberto Martinez convinced Wigan will escape relegation

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The Independent Online

Wigan manager Roberto Martinez is convinced his team will prove the doubters wrong and escape relegation.

The Barclays Premier League's bottom side have been written off in many quarters having spent the majority of their campaign in the drop zone.

That is despite attracting plaudits for their playing style, an uplifting last-gasp win over Birmingham last time out and having an impressive 12 players on international duty last week.

Martinez believes all those factors give his side, who are just one point below the safety line, confidence for the remaining eight games of the campaign, starting with Saturday's testing encounter against Tottenham.

The Spaniard said: "From the outside it is understandable.

"If you look at the clubs that are fighting to avoid relegation with, people are going to have their views.

"But as we have always done, we are here to defy the odds and prove people wrong.

"We feel we have been playing at a very good level in the last few weeks and now it is a matter of getting that good play reflected in the table.

"It would be a great, great achievement to defy the odds and spring a surprise.

"But that is the nature of Wigan Athletic - we are a fantastic football story and we want to carry on with this dream.

"There is a really good mood. The game against Birmingham allows you to have that feeling.

"We are in a great moment, everyone is fully fit.

"We had 12 players flying around the world representing their countries and there is huge belief and excitement about catching up some of the points that we feel we have been missing."

Wigan have had players in action in Africa, North America and Asia, as well as various European countries, over the past week.

Aside from the three involved in America who are yet to return, all have reported back fully fit.

Martinez added: "That is a real sign of how committed the squad is.

"Everyone wants to play a role, everyone wants to help towards the success of the football club."

Martinez was due to spend his afternoon engaged in live webchat with supporters on the club's website.

The former Swansea boss believes the fans will be crucial in the remaining fixtures, particularly those at home against Tottenham, Everton and West Ham.

Latics have slashed prices for under 16s for the visit of Spurs this weekend in the hope of generating a big crowd.

Martinez said: "It is one of the biggest strengths we have at the football club.

"We are a very tight unit and it is important to have constant feedback from the fans and work together towards the future of the club.

"It will be interesting to speak to the fans live for an hour and get their views and make sure we are all ready for our big battle on Saturday."

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