Wigan Athletic have the opportunity to move out of the bottom three on Tuesday night when they face Swansea City at the DW Stadium, following their 3-2 win over West Bromwich Albion on Saturday afternoon.
But Roberto Martinez says that league positioning is not the main focus of his or his squad at this late stage in the campaign, instead looking at the points tally with surprises still in store in the remaining weeks of the season.
He said: “We’ve got two incredible home games to look forward to still this season, against Swansea and Aston Villa as well as a glamorous away trip to The Emirates.
“There are nine points still available for us and that’s our main focus right now, but it’s certainly pleasing to see a real continuity in our performances; the last four games have seen displays of the highest order and that’s when you need to take three points.
“We’re not viewing the game simply as a chance to move out of the bottom three. Each week the table has its twists and turns, so for me the only thing to focus on is the opportunity to add more points to our tally.
“When May 19 comes around that’s when we’ll focus on the table with a points tally that will help us achieve our aims.”
The game will mark the Spaniard’s 150th in charge of the club, poetically against his former team and he hopes to celebrate the landmark with three points, saying:
“I never really take much notice of landmarks, but 150 games in the Premier League, with all the team working behind the scenes as well of course, fills me with immense pride.
“This football club is an incredible place for me and always will be, so I’m proud to reach that landmark, but it’s important that we mark it with a good performance and three points.”
Martinez is looking forward to a big atmosphere at the DW Stadium in what will be the penultimate home game of the season, and hopes the team’s recent home form continues, saying:
“The approach will not be different. We’ll spend as much time focussing on the opposition as we have done in recent games, but be more concerned with our performance.
“Our last three home games have produced really strong displays, winning performances and that’s what we need to continue in the final two games at the DW Stadium.
“Swansea have made history this season in securing a third campaign in the top flight and bringing home their first piece of major silverware which is remarkable and for which Michael Laudrup deserves huge credit.
“On Tuesday night you’re going to see two footballing sides with similar concepts, both looking forward to playing European football next season which I think is an incredible achievement.”