Uwe Rosler says Latics' clash with Blackpool on Saturday will be an intense battle with both sides placing huge value on the three points at stake.
A win for the Seasiders would prove vital in their bid for safety in the Sky Bet Championship whilst Latics require one win from their final three games to secure a play-off place.
And Rosler told the local press at his Friday briefing that the points are the most important factor at this stage of the campaign.
“We have three games to finish the season strong,” Rosler said.
“To get into the play-offs we need to win against Blackpool; it’s two teams with a lot to play for and who need to beat each other.
“They have to win and we have to win, there are different ways to win games, it’s like in boxing, you can win the fight in the 12th round or lose it in the first round.
“We have to make sure after 95 minutes that we are on the end of the win.”
Rosler has watched Blackpool’s impressive draw at Brighton & Hove Albion this week and he says player-manager Barry Ferguson has done well to organise the Seasiders into a solid unit.
The German boss expects a tough test and says his players will have to show similar qualities to those they displayed against Reading if they are to get a positive result.
“Blackpool have improved; their organisation without the ball is very good,” he added. “I saw their game against Brighton, who have lots of good technical players, and they found it extremely difficult to break them down.
“We have a lot to play for so I think we will have a lot of the ball but we need quality in and around the final third.
“We have players who can unlock the door but we also need the right mentality because the ball will come into the box from the side, the ball will be around the box from blocked shots, second balls and blocked crosses and we need to show the hunger and mentality to score goals.
“We’ll give Blackpool the respect and make sure we approach the game in the right manner.”
Over 3,000 fans are expected to make the short journey from the seaside to Wigan with the club giving away free tickets in what is a crucial fixture for the Tangerines’ future.
And Rosler says the bigger crowds get the best out of his players so he is excited by the prospect of a large following, backing his own fans to out-sing the visitors.
“I think the amount of tickets Blackpool have sold is good; it inspires my group of players because they are used to playing in front of big crowds, that can only be a positive for us,” Rosler explained.
“I think our supporters have been tremendous this season and since I’ve came to the club, they’ve been very vocal, especially against Reading.”
You can watch Uwe's preview of Latics v Blackpool on Latics Player by [clicking here] and you can also read more from him in the match day programme.