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

Arts and Entertainment
The first film introduced Daniel Radcliffe to our screens, pictured here as he prepares to board the train to Hogwarts for the first time.
booksHow reading Harry Potter helps children grow up to be gay-friendly
Sport
Frank Lampard will pass Billy Wright and equal Bobby Charton’s caps tally of 106 caps against
sportFormer Chelsea midfielder in Etihad stopgap before New York contract
Arts and Entertainment
A scene from Aladdin is performed at the Tony Awards in New York in June
theatreBrit producer Lythgoe makes kids' musical comedy a Los Angeles hit
Sport
Usain Bolt of Jamaica smiles and shakes hands with a competitor after Jamaica won their first heat in the men's 4x100m relay
sport
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
Chancellor George Osborne, along with the Prime Minister, have been 'complacently claiming the economy is now fixed', according to shadow Chancellor Ed Balls
i100... which is awkward, because he is their boss, after all
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Adèle Exarchopoulos and Léa Seydoux play teeneage lovers in the French erotic drama 'Blue Is The Warmest Colour' - The survey found four times as many women admitting to same-sex experiences than 20 years ago
filmBlue Is The Warmest Colour, Bojack Horseman and Hobbit on the way
News
Kenny Ireland, pictured in 2010.
peopleBenidorm actor was just 68
Arts and Entertainment
Preparations begin for Edinburgh Festival 2014
Edinburgh festivalAll the best shows to see at Edinburgh this year
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

Dress the Gaza situation up all you like, but the truth hurts

Robert Fisk on Gaza conflict

Dress the situation up all you like, but the truth hurts
Save the tiger: Tiger, tiger burning less brightly as numbers plummet

Tiger, tiger burning less brightly

When William Blake wrote his famous poem there were probably more than 100,000 tigers in the wild. These days they probably number around 3,200
5 News's Andy Bell retraces his grandfather's steps on the First World War battlefields

In grandfather's footsteps

5 News's political editor Andy Bell only knows his grandfather from the compelling diary he kept during WWI. But when he returned to the killing fields where Edwin Vaughan suffered so much, his ancestor came to life
Lifestyle guru Martha Stewart reveals she has flying robot ... to take photos of her farm

Martha Stewart has flying robot

The lifestyle guru used the drone to get a bird's eye view her 153-acre farm in Bedford, New York
Former Labour minister Meg Hillier has demanded 'pootling lanes' for women cyclists

Do women cyclists need 'pootling lanes'?

Simon Usborne (who's more of a hurtler) explains why winning the space race is key to happy riding
A tale of two presidents: George W Bush downs his paintbrush to pen father’s life story

A tale of two presidents

George W Bush downs his paintbrush to pen father’s life story
Restaurateur Mitch Tonks has given the Great Western Pullman dining car a makeover

The dining car makes a comeback

Restaurateur Mitch Tonks has given the Great Western Pullman dining car a makeover
Gallery rage: How are institutions tackling the discomfort of overcrowding this summer?

Gallery rage

How are institutions tackling the discomfort of overcrowding this summer?
Louis van Gaal has £500,000 video surveillance system installed to monitor Manchester United players

Eye on the prize

Louis van Gaal has £500,000 video surveillance system installed to monitor Manchester United players
Women's rugby: Tamara Taylor adds fuel to the ire in quest to land World Cup

Women's rugby

Tamara Taylor adds fuel to the ire in quest to land World Cup
Save the tiger: The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

With only six per cent of the US population of these amazing big cats held in zoos, the Zanesville incident in 2011 was inevitable
Samuel Beckett's biographer reveals secrets of the writer's time as a French Resistance spy

How Samuel Beckett became a French Resistance spy

As this year's Samuel Beckett festival opens in Enniskillen, James Knowlson, recalls how the Irish writer risked his life for liberty and narrowly escaped capture by the Gestapo
We will remember them: relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War

We will remember them

Relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War
Star Wars Episode VII is being shot on film - and now Kodak is launching a last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

Kodak's last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

Director J J Abrams and a few digital refuseniks shoot movies on film. Simon Usborne wonders what the fuss is about
Once stilted and melodramatic, Hollywood is giving acting in video games a makeover

Acting in video games gets a makeover

David Crookes meets two of the genre's most popular voices