Martinez wants Wigan to sustain intensity shown against Arsenal

Media playback is not supported on this device

Martinez predicts tight survival battle

Wigan manager Roberto Martinez has challenged his players to match the intensity of their recent run in their final four matches.

The Latics followed up a first win over Manchester United with their first-ever victory at Arsenal on Monday to move five points clear of the bottom three.

"We need the same intensity, knowing they are big finals to achieve our aim [of survival]," said Martinez.

"We must make sure we recover for a huge game against Fulham."

He added: "Fulham are a different proposition now and we have to be at our best.

"We knew that playing the final two games of the season against Blackburn and Wolves, we always had a chance, but it can work the opposite way and those six points can be very dangerous."

The Latics, who have been beaten just twice in their last 11 games, were unfortunate to lose at Chelsea in the game that preceded their victory over Manchester United.

At one point this season Wigan, who only survived on the final day of last season, lost eight consecutive matches and were overwhelming favourites to drop into the Championship for the first time since 2005.

But their form has improved and Martinez felt the manner of the 2-1 victory at Emirates Stadium was a significant statement about his team's ability.

He added: "It was a well-deserved victory, which is the most pleasing aspect. This wasn't a coincidence.

"Sometimes you are fortunate, they have a man sent off and you get decisions, but to score two goals from open play away from home was a sign of our attacking threat and to cope with Arsenal shows the size of the performance.

Media playback is not supported on this device

Arsenal lacked sharpness - Wenger

"We deserved the win against Manchester United, we were very frustrated at Chelsea but the performances have been very competitive against the best teams in this league and that speaks volumes about these players.

"We can't really enjoy it because moments like this will mean nothing if we don't get enough points to stay up."

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger felt his team only had themselves to blame for their defeat - and the Frenchman also claimed goalkeeper Ali Al Habsi was time-wasting from the early stages.

"In the second half we lost our cohesion, we were doing too much individually, the passing wasn't quick enough to be dangerous," he said.

"Wigan defended well and I believe we became a bit impatient in the second half and lost our way. In the second half we dropped our level physically and collectively.

"I told the fourth official, '(Al Habsi) will do it all game, because he did it after 10 minutes, and with three minutes to go, he will get a yellow card'. That is exactly what happened.

"It is disrespectful to people who pay big money to watch the game."

Top Stories