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Tuesday 21 August 2018

Martinez: Home improvement key for Latics

WIGAN manager Roberto Martinez has stressed the importance of improving their poor home record over the final stretch of the season as they look to salvage their Premier League status.

Wigan go into this weekend's clash with West Brom rooted to the bottom but, with fellow strugglers Wolves facing Manchester United and QPR and Bolton not in action, the Latics have a chance to move out of the relegation zone.

To do that though, Martinez's men will have to achieve something they have only managed once in the league so far this season -- pick up a victory at the DW Stadium.

Martinez knows his team must do better at home if they are to repeat their escape of last season, when they finished three points above the drop zone after picking up eight points from their final four games.

"One win at home is not going to be enough and we want to change that," Martinez said. "We can't rely on anyone else because our position doesn't allow us to do that. That's why it's going to be crucial at home this season and to be ready and help the players to be themselves and achieve what we deserve to achieve."

Newcastle will hope to increase the pressure on fifth-placed Chelsea when they play host to Norwich on Sunday.

The Magpies have only taken two points from their last four games, including Monday's heartbreaking last-gasp defeat by Arsenal but, with Chelsea in FA Cup action, Alan Pardew's men could move to within two points of the top five.

In this weekend's other match, Swansea will attempt to make it three consecutive league wins when they go to the team immediately above them in the table, 10th-placed Fulham.

With neither Everton (ninth) nor Sunderland (eighth) playing this weekend, a Swansea win at Craven Cottage would lift them into eighth.

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