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Wednesday 13 December 2017

Martinez warns Wigan to keep focus in safety bid

Wigan boss Roberto Martinez has warned of the dangers of complacency in the battle to avoid relegation. Martinez's side eased their plight in the Premier League with a dramatic injury-time win over fellow strugglers Burnley last time out.

That lifted them seven points clear of the drop, but a victory for Hull over the weekend has eaten back into their cushion. The Latics will get the chance to move away again as they return to action tonight but they face a tough task away to Champions League-chasing Manchester City.

Martinez, whose side are away again at Fulham next weekend, said: "It is very dangerous to think we are over the line. There are still 21 points left to play for -- that is a huge amount of points. We are in a good position but we have now got two very important, difficult games away from home.

"We have got to be focused and we cannot drop our standards. It is going to be a very tough place to visit tonight. We all know the quality Man City have at their disposal -- but we are ready for the challenge and the occasion."

Martinez is coming towards the end of his first season as a Premier League manager. The Spaniard took over at DW Stadium last summer after impressing as manager of ambitious Championship side Swansea. Keeping the club in the top flight would be considered a success and Martinez has relished the competition.

"It is a more competitive league," he said. "You can see now there are seven games to go and everything is open and still undecided. There are not many leagues where you will see that for the title, the fourth place and the relegation spots."

Martinez said of City: "They are coming on the back of a bad result but are in outstanding form at home and we will have to be at our best to compete with one of the best teams in the Premier League."

Wigan are likely to be without playmaker Charles N'Zogbia due to a hip injury but defender Emmerson Boyce could be in contention after back and groin problems.

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