Emmerson Boyce believes the next three league games can go a long way to Latics’ end of season aim, starting with Newcastle on Saturday.
The 33-year-old said:
“The next three games are going to be massive for us in the league before the semi-final against Millwall.
“Newcastle will come here full of confidence but the fact that they did play on Thursday could be used to our advantage if we start quickly.
“It a massive game in terms of our direct rivals in the league all playing on Saturday, so we will know exactly where we are before kick-off.”
Boyce admitted it’s going to be tough battle for survival in the Premier League but insists the team are ready.
“We have to go on a similar run to the end of last season.
“It’s going to be even harder this year because people expect us to get stronger later in the season.
“We know what we have to work for and we are only looking up the table now to get above teams.
“It’s always said that it’s easier to get dragged back so there are other teams still in danger.”
On the unpredictable nature of the task ahead Boyce added:
“The fight for survival is so unpredictable; you only have to look at QPR’s situation a month ago and people had written them off, now we find ourselves just a point above them.
“It just shows that back-to-back victories can help you; if we can do that then we’ll draw other teams into this situation.”
Alongside Latics’ 10 remaining Premier League games lies the FA Cup semi-final and potentially final but Boyce doesn’t see that as too much of a problem.
“The fixture pile up will hit us soon and we could face three midweek games if we get to the final of the FA Cup.
“It’s not too much of a big thing for me personally because I’ve played in the Championship and you are always playing weekend then midweek games.
“Everyone is focused and we have got a big fight on our hands but we’ve been he before and we know what it takes to survive.
“Another incentive is that everyone will want to fight for their place in the semi-final team and we all have to prove our worth in the games against Newcastle, Norwich and QPR.”