Latics skipper Gary Caldwell says the initiative from Latics supporters to greet the team outside the players' car park as they arrive at the DW Stadium on Saturday will be another massive boost of confidence – as it was in last season’s historic run-in.
Latics supporter groups have all joined forces to repeat the initiative that, according to Caldwell, made a real difference in the last few games of last season.
He said: “The atmosphere the fans created last season was incredible. A gesture like turning up early to applaud us into the ground to some may seem small, but for us players it meant the world and without doubt gave us a real confidence before kick-off. I’ve got no doubt that if the fans can help to create a similar atmosphere in these final games, then we’ll be able to get the results we need.
“The noise inside the ground at the time was infectious, and we couldn’t help but give our all with that feeling around us.”
Defender Emmerson Boyce added: “As a group of players, it made us feel really good and so determined to get the result for the fans. Sometimes, simple things make such a difference, and when you can see what this club means to them, it gives you even more determination to play.”
And manager Roberto Martinez said: “Our fans are unique. Last season we were caught by surprise at first and the players got to the dressing room a bit later than planned because there were so many people wishing them luck outside the stadium.
“We started having to build in extra time and getting the players here earlier and it looks like we are going to have to do this again. It’s a fantastic gesture and proof again that we are a club united on and off the field, something that gives us a unique strength.”
Fans will begin to arrive at the player's car park at around 3pm.