Roberto Martinez: Wigan cannot relax if we win against Swansea
Wigan manager warns that beating Swansea and losing the next two will send them down
Roberto Martinez has warned his Wigan players to temper their emotion even if they move out of the bottom three in the Premier League with victory over Swansea City on Tuesday night.
The psychological boost of moving into a position of safety would be a huge fillip for his side, with the FA Cup final sandwiched in between another incredible late effort to stay out of the Championship.
Martinez, who takes charge of his 150th Premier League game tonight at the DW Stadium, however, believes Wigan, who are third from bottom, should not get carried away if they are out of danger tonight.
"Being out of the bottom three on Tuesday night, that's not going to have a major say on where we end the season," he said. "I think what's important is that we get as close as we can to the 39-40 points, that's our target. If you win against Swansea and lose the next two games, you're not going to achieve the aim of staying in this league.
"It doesn't matter if you're out of the bottom three or not. I think what's important is that we carry on performing in the manner that we did against West BromwichAlbion where they won 3-3 on Saturday] and with that mentality and make sure we get as many of the nine points that are left.
"Wherever we are in the table when we go to play the final doesn't matter. It's an incredible number. One hundred and fifty games in the Barclays Premier League at Wigan, well, there are not many managers who have done it, put it that way!
"It's an incredible thing at 39 to have that honour and privilege. It's something to be very satisfied about but football is not about managers or landmarks, it's about reaching our aims in the league. I want to have more games in the Barclays Premier League next season with Wigan."
Martinez will hope Shaun Maloney can pull a couple more performances out of the bag – even if it means he loses the winger as a result. The 5ft 7in Scotland international has been one of the team's star performers this season and the Latics manager knows it will have alerted bigger clubs.
"Shaun Maloney is a player who could have been born in any other country in terms of the technical ability and the quality he has," said Martinez. "When he first joined us he took a little bit of a time to get used to the pace of the league but he's been magnificent and very consistent since he started playing regularly.
"I feel Shaun is a player who can play in any team, he has the quality of any other top player in that position. I would never be surprised if a club with more tradition and bigger power looks at him but that's a compliment to us. I don't want to see Shaun leaving because he's so instrumental to what we do. But it wouldn't surprise me because he is a top player and has been consistent for 18 months now."
Wigan have won two and drawn one of their last three home games, increasing the belief that victory at The Hawthorns could be part of another dramatic escape.
Tonight against Swansea they will have to do it without Jean Beausejour and central defender Antolin Alcaraz, who are both ruled out of the game with hamstring injuries. Maynor Figueroa has a groin problem and will not play again this season.
Swansea, who sit fourth from bottom of the Premier League form table and have not won any of their last seven away league games, will be without their leading scorer Michu, who has a hamstring problem.
Probable teams at the DW Stadium
Kick-off Tonight, 7.45pm TV Sky Sports 1
Referee K Friend (Leicestershire)
Odds: Home 4-1 Draw 11-4 Away 8-11
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