Wigan prepare for final week of the season, knowing they need 'two more highlights' to survive

The Latics must win their two remaining games to survive

Wigan head into the final week of the season knowing they must quickly put their FA Cup glory aside to save their top-flight status.

As the Latics immediately returned to training following their stunning victory over Manchester City at Wembley, results in the Barclays Premier League pushed them to the brink of relegation.

Their fate is still in their own hands as victories over Arsenal and Aston Villa will complete a dramatic escape and the most remarkable week in the club's history - but the task is a formidable one.

Anything less than victory against the Champions League-chasing Gunners at the Emirates Stadium on Tuesday will effectively end their eight-year stay in the Premier League. The Latics are four points from safety with a far inferior goal difference to their closest rivals Sunderland.

The situation means Wigan's sensational Wembley success - the biggest cup final upset for a generation - could quickly become one of the least savoured.

Midfielder Shaun Maloney, who was outstanding against City, said: "We are going to have to sleep well, we have got a big game on Tuesday.

"It is an incredible achievement to win the FA Cup and we are going to be on a pretty big high but the work for Arsenal has already started."

Wigan were rank outsiders against the odds-on City but were the more energetic and creative team throughout and thoroughly deserved the victory secured by Ben Watson's late header.

Maloney felt the team's ability to shut out their league travails, and a desperately disappointing loss to Swansea last Tuesday, helped them.

The 30-year-old said: "We forgot about the league and completely concentrated on the cup.

"We were massive underdogs and felt relaxed about it. That helped and it was enjoyable."

Wigan now need to use the adrenaline from Saturday to propel them to victory at Arsenal and set up a final-day showdown with relegation rivals and Maloney's former club Aston Villa.

Maloney himself is in fine form and has impressed throughout the season, fully justifying manager Roberto Martinez's decision to bring him back to English football from Celtic two years ago.

Maloney said: "I think I had to prove it to myself when I came down here.

"The manager and the club took a bit of a gamble after the previous couple of seasons at Celtic - I hadn't played a lot through injury.

"I appreciated the manager taking the time to speak to me and sign me. I think he needs to take the majority of the credit.

"I think this is probably the best I've played at this level on a regular basis.

"It has certainly been the most consistent over a season that I have played, and Saturday was one of the highlights.

"Hopefully there will be another couple of highlights over the next week as well."

PA

News
people

Top Gear presenter is no stranger to foot-in-mouth controversy

Arts and Entertainment
Imelda Staunton as Dolores Umbridge in the Harry Potter films
books

New essay by JK Rowling went live on pottermore site this morning

Arts and Entertainment
Charlie Sheen said he would
tv

Charlie Sheen could be set to revive his role as a hedonistic womaniser

Life and Style
Jamie Oliver’s version of Jollof rice led thousands of people to post angry comments on his website
food + drink
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

The drugs revolution starts now as MPs agree its high time for change

The drugs revolution starts now as MPs agree its high time for change

Commons debate highlights growing cross-party consensus on softening UK drugs legislation, unchanged for 43 years
The camera is turned on tabloid editors in Richard Peppiatt's 'One Rogue Reporter'

Gotcha! The camera is turned on tabloid editors

Hugh Grant says Richard Peppiatt's 'One Rogue Reporter' documentary will highlight issues raised by Leveson
Fall of the Berlin Wall: It was thanks to Mikhail Gorbachev that this symbol of division fell

Fall of the Berlin Wall

It was thanks to Gorbachev that this symbol of division fell
Halloween 2014: What makes Ouija boards, demon dolls, and evil clowns so frightening?

What makes ouija boards and demon dolls scary?

Ouija boards, demon dolls, evil children and clowns are all classic tropes of horror, and this year’s Halloween releases feature them all. What makes them so frightening, decade after decade?
A safari in modern Britain: Rose Rouse reveals how her four-year tour of Harlesden taught her as much about the UK as it did about NW10

Rose Rouse's safari in modern Britain

Rouse decided to walk and talk with as many different people as possible in her neighbourhood of Harlesden and her experiences have been published in a new book
Welcome to my world of no smell and odd tastes: How a bike accident left one woman living with unwanted food mash-ups

'My world of no smell and odd tastes'

A head injury from a bicycle accident had the surprising effect of robbing Nell Frizzell of two of her senses

Matt Parker is proud of his square roots

The "stand-up mathematician" is using comedy nights to preach maths to big audiences
Paul Scholes column: Beating Manchester City is vital part of life at Manchester United. This is first major test for Luke Shaw, Angel Di Maria and Radamel Falcao – it’s not a game to lose

Paul Scholes column

Beating City is vital part of life at United. This is first major test for Shaw, Di Maria and Falcao – it’s not a game to lose
Frank Warren: Call me an old git, but I just can't see that there's a place for women’s boxing

Frank Warren column

Call me an old git, but I just can't see that there's a place for women’s boxing
Adrian Heath interview: Former Everton striker prepares his Orlando City side for the MLS - and having Kaka in the dressing room

Adrian Heath's American dream...

Former Everton striker prepares his Orlando City side for the MLS - and having Kaka in the dressing room
Simon Hart: Manchester City will rise again but they need to change their attitude

Manchester City will rise again but they need to change their attitude

Manuel Pellegrini’s side are too good to fail and derby allows them to start again, says Simon Hart
Isis in Syria: A general reveals the lack of communication with the US - and his country's awkward relationship with their allies-by-default

A Syrian general speaks

A senior officer of Bashar al-Assad’s regime talks to Robert Fisk about his army’s brutal struggle with Isis, in a dirty war whose challenges include widespread atrocities
‘A bit of a shock...’ Cambridge economist with Glasgow roots becomes Zambia’s acting President

‘A bit of a shock...’ Economist with Glasgow roots becomes Zambia’s acting President

Guy Scott's predecessor, Michael Sata, died in a London hospital this week after a lengthy illness
Fall of the Berlin Wall: History catches up with Erich Honecker - the East German leader who praised the Iron Curtain and claimed it prevented a Third World War

Fall of the Berlin Wall

History catches up with Erich Honecker - the East German leader who praised the Iron Curtain and claimed it prevented a Third World War
How to turn your mobile phone into easy money

Turn your mobile phone into easy money

There are 90 million unused mobiles in the UK, which would be worth £7bn if we cashed them in, says David Crookes